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Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FANGIRL_CoverDec2012Have you ever felt like you knew a book character personally? Like you could imagine what they might say in different situations? Well, this is how Cath Avery feels about Simon Snow, a Harry Potter-esque character/book series that Cath and her twin sister Wren grew up reading and loving as a way to cope with their mom leaving. It just seemed natural that they would start to write fan fiction about Simon Snow and the other characters Simon’s magical world.

When Cath and Wren go off to college, Wren tells Cath that they shouldn’t be roommates so they can “meet other people”. Cath finds herself dealing with a difficult Fiction Writing professor, a roommate Cath is convinced hates her, two boys who *might* like her, but how do you tell? and a bi-polar dad who struggles to take care of himself with his only daughters off at college, all while Wren takes up an unhealthy party lifestyle. When Cath writes Simon Snow fan fiction, though, none of those things can get to her. She can completely enter the world of Simon Snow, and with thousands of readers eager to devour her next installment, she has even more motivation to spend time writing rather than being social. Can Cath find the courage to live her life and create her own story?

Interspersed with excerpts from the “canon” Simon Snow books as well as Cath and Wren’s contributions to the fandom, this is a quick and entertaining read with lots of heart. Anyone who followed and loved the Harry Potter series will identify with the emotional connection that can grow from a vivid world and well developed characters, as well as the sense of sadness when those books end.
The year is young, but this is one of my favorites, so far!

If you like this book, you should definitely read Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. Rowell does such an amazing job creating characters and relationships you don’t want to stop reading about, and I’m very excited to follow her as she continues her writing career!

Happy Reading!

Reviewed by Ms. Granbery

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If you’re as frustrated as I am with unseasonably warm weather so close to Christmas then I suggest you cool off with Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. This is the story of seventeen year old Grace who has spent years watching a pack of wolves living in the wintry Minnesota woods behind her house, feeling inexplicably connected to them. One yellow-eyed wolf, “her wolf”, watches back. Sam is no ordinary wolf. He is actually a werewolf who spends the cold months in his wolf form, silently watching Grace, and in the warm months he is simply a quiet boy who works at the local book store. The only constant: his unusual yellow eyes. When the two finally meet in human form, their love blossoms beautifully. As if teen relationships weren’t difficult enough, this one is tested constantly by the slightest drop in temperature. Action packed without a lot of gore, this romantic tale is a sensory delight. You’re guaranteed to feel the chill of a cold Minnesota morning, to smell hot chocolate in the air, to visualize the light dappled woods as the wolves run through it. For mature teens and adults alike, I definitely recommend this one to be enjoyed in front of a fire, under a soft blanket, with a hot cup of cocoa preferably.

 

Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault

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 Bruiser is not your typical story of the loser boy getting the normal girl. He is different. Brewster is the one kid in school who got voted “The Most Likely to get the Death Penalty”, so he is clearly not your typical happy teenage boy. He also has a secret, discovered when he begins to date Brontë. She and her brother, Tennyson, both discover that Brewster (nicknamed Bruiser) can take things away. There is a reason he always stays away from people, there is a reason he tries not to care too much. Because when he does care, he can take away their pain.

This is a story about how many people can affect one person. . . and also how that one person can affect many people.

Reviewed by Lexie K. ’15

 

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After devouring two of Oliver’s books (Delirium and Pandemonium), I had to go back and read her debut novel, Before I Fall. In a Glee mash up, this would be Groundhog Day meets Thirteen Reasons Why. It was witty and poignant, but also unnerving and annoying as the main character, Sam, has a go at the same day over and over (and over) again. Chock full of valuable lessons, this is a great young adult read if you can get past the repetition. I was going to write a plot synopsis, but in preparing for next week’s conference presentation all about utilizing technology to promote young adult reading, I found this great book trailer that *hopefully* does the trick! Let me know what you think and what you’re doing with book trailers yourself!

Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault

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If ABC’s The Bachelor, The Hunger Games, and Ally Condie’s Matched got together and had a baby, The Selection would be the resulting bundle of joy. The story takes place in a futuristic United States which is no longer the US as we know it; it is now a monarchy that was established after gaining independence from China. It’s an interesting storyline. Add to this society a strict caste system where it’s difficult to date and marry “down” and, of course, a secret romance that has blossomed between our heroine, the beautiful yet humble America Singer and her impossibly handsome friend Aspen (ahem, Matched). As the prince, an only child, comes of age, an invitation is sent out to every available maiden in the land to apply for “The Selection”. If chosen to compete, the candidate’s family is immediately raised to a higher caste. The winner becomes, what else? The Princess. 35 girls are selected to live in the palace and compete for the Prince Maxon’s heart and hand. It’s a sort of Bachelor reaping, isn’t it?! Brokenhearted America applies and is selected to compete. She goes with a guarded heart, only intending to enjoy the abundance of food and to help her family, but when she gets to know the real Prince Maxon, things take an interesting turn. Beyond some catty girl behavior and strange, violent attacks by rebel groups, this is a fun, light young adult read, most definitely part one of a series, and would be a good read for anyone who is into the aforementioned pop culture.

Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault

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After watching our school’s production of Les Miserables, I decided to read the classic novel that inspired the broadway musical. It truly is a noteworthy book that should be on your bucket list if you haven’t already read it. Jean Valjean, a peasant who was put in prison for stealing bread to feed his widowed sister’s starving family, has finally been released after 19 years. After resting on a clean bed at the bishop’s house, the only place that would let someone from the galleys spend the night, he steals silver, tries to escape and is caught. Surprisingly, when the police bring him back to the bishop, the bishop lies and says that he actually gave the convict the silver. This episode changes Jean Valjean’s character and he promises to use the silver to do . A decade later he has established himself as Monseiur Madeleine, a wealthy business man and governor of a French town, a goodman who opens hospitals for the poor, and gives alms to the needy. Suddenly, the police inspector Javert recognises Jean Valjean and again the convict is wanted. On the run, he adopts a little girl Cossette, and together they live their lives under a new name, Fauchelvent. Now a pretty young woman, Cossette attracts the attention of young Parisians, especially the eye of Marius, a student active in the “revolution”. Through it all Javert constantly keeps up the watch for the escaped convict, Jean Valjean. Can Jean Valjean live freely, safe from Javert? Will Marius and Cossette live happily ever after? Read this fantastic book to find out!

Reviewed by Ayushi ’16

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The contestants of The Miss Team Dream pageant thought their only problems were going to involve wardrobe malfunctions or the regular pageant drama, but when their plane crashes they are left on a mysterious island to fend for themselves. With little water, food and hardly any hair-care products the girls soon learn that it is going take more than a killer smile and show-stopping walk to survive until they are rescued. What these pageant princesses don’t know is that this island isn’t quite as deserted as they thought. Filled with crazy dictators, evil corporations, love, fake pirates and a lot of girl power this satire is recommended for anyone who loves a good laugh!

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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