From Marie K. Schulken
author: Sullivan, J. Courtney
This is the second book I have read by this author, the other, her recent book, Maine. This is the story of four young women who begin their freshman year at Smith College. They are from various parts of the country and have different lifestyles, however, they do become fast friends. The story follows their lives well after graduation, through the wedding celebration of one of the four and ultimately the challenges they are facing five years after graduation. A definite beach read, not real challenging, preferred her second book “Maine”.
From Catherine Costanzo
author: Frank, Anne
The Diary of a Young Girl
A true story as you know — but a classic tale of a young girl and her family as they are “hidden” during world war II. Anne keeps a diary about their day to day trials and events, and one can see the young girl that she is, as well as sometimes an adult insight into what is happening to the family.
From Jackie Cantwell
author: Haag, Christina
Come to the edge : a memoir
This is a beautifully written memoir of the author’s 5-year romance with John F. Kennedy, Jr. in the late 1980’s. The tale is a little slow going in the beginning, as she details her family history and early years in Catholic school. But I think it is necessary, as we get a glimpse into her background (she is what I’d call “new money”). She and JFK Jr. travelled in the same social circles since their teen years on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. They later became roommates and good friends at Brown University in Providence, R.I. They met up again when both were living in New York. JFK Jr. and she were both seeing other people when he asked her to go out with him. He was very charming as he tried to romance her. He buys a motorcycle and drives her home to Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge. She doesn’t know where to put her hands, so at a stoplight, he turns around and wraps her arms around his chest.(What girl wouldn’t want to trade places with her?). He later tells her he bought the motorcycle because “I was trying to woo you” and that they had the longest courtship ever. They were in an off-Broadway play together, playing the leads. He was a very gifted actor, but of course, it’s a path he cannot take. When she decides to become an actress, he tells her, “You’re lucky, you have a calling”.
We get a view into their lives of privilege. When Christine first meets his mother, Mrs. Onassis is very reserved and cordial. There were even rules, according to John, as to how and when to approach her. Later the women form a friendship. John calls her “Mummy” and often tries to appease this quiet though formidable woman. Against Christina’s better judgment, she finds herself taking more risks and going along on his adventures, such as horseback riding, kayaking and skiing. The point that stuck with me in light of how he died is that he seemed oblivious to the physical danger he put himself in on more than one occasion. Overall, the tone of the book was restrained. She does not offer any titillating revelations. She was very respectful of the Kennedy clan. This is a touching memoir with insights into the man we all thought we knew.
From Eric, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Lynch, Chris
Hothouse is an emotional and unique story about the sharp and oftentimes unexpected change from being admired to being despised. The story is about seventeen-year-old Russell and his best friend D.J., who have shared similar childhoods. Both boys have grown up around the firehouse, because both of their fathers were firemen. Russell shared a special bond with his father, and knew his entire life that he wanted to grow up to be a firefighter just like his father.
Unfortunately, both of their fathers died in a tragic accident while fighting a fire in town. Naturally, both the boys were devastated by the loss, but the story focuses more on how Russell copes. Initially, everyone in their town rallies around their families, because the boys’ fathers were regarded as heroes to the community. Everyone’s constant support helped the boys get through the tough situation.
However, the story takes a dark turn as the boys’ fathers get turned from heroes to zeros. Some secrets into his father’s actions concerning the accident shed some light on the fact that Russell’s father may not have been such a hero after all. Now, he must deal with the fact that the man he idolized his whole life had a darker side he knew nothing about, and the whole community that once embraced him wants no part of him anymore. The story is an emotional journey and examines the way teenagers handle death and adversity in general. I would recommend this to mature teen readers looking for a powerful, but not too long of a read.
From Elizabeth Harty
author: Friedman, Aimee
Sea Change by Aimee Friedman is a fictional novel geared towards the young adult reader. As a high school teacher, I am always looking for books that will captivate the interest of my students while simultaneously providing them with an interesting book to read. Sea Change fits all of these requirements as it is a novel that young adult readers will find compelling and captivating. The novel is set on the fictional Selkie Island (loosely based on Tybee Island, SC) where the protagonist, Miranda Merchant, a smart and sassy teenager from New York City, is helping her mother reconcile her recently deceased parents’ estate. It is here on Selkie Island that Miranda meets Leo, a local boy who has a mysterious quality about him. Miranda is a character whom teenagers will identify with and enjoy reading about her life-changing experiences during one monumental summer. Friedman is an exceptional writer who provides the reader with a well-written and enjoyable read.
From Chelsea, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Banks, Kate
Walk Softly, Rachel
Walk Softly, Rachel by Kate Banks is a great summer pick! Reading this book you will fall into 14-year-old Rachel’s world. It all started when Rachel was 7 and her brother, Jake, died in a tragic car accident. Her parents have put the past behind them and can barely mention Jake’s name. After that tragic happening her family becomes distant with each other and their ways of coping have torn them apart silently. However, they have left Jake’s room untouched after his death to relive his finest moments and memories. Rachel soon figures out this might be her one and only chance to connect with Jake, by entering his room and searching through his items. As she travels through the items she finds out they each have a story behind them and they each speak to her through Jake’s voice. Through Rachel’s own shortcomings and experiences she finds out who she really is and the power her mind has to heal. Walk Softly, Rachel by Kate Banks is a warm hearting book about love, loss, and letting go through Rachel’s eyes. This is a must read book and I highly recommend it!
From Andrea Payne
author: Harris, E. Lynn
Just Too Good To Be True
This was a novel about a young all star high school football player, Brady Bledsoe, whose mother has raised on her own while concealing her own past. She’s convinced her son to take a vow of celibacy and drama unfolds as an unscrupulous sports agent enters the picture and does whatever it takes to get Brady to sign with him, even if Brady doesn’t realize that he is signing a contract. Some parts are predicatable and others are juicy and surprising. It was a nice easy, enjoyable read that was perfect for summer reading.
From Kaitlyn, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Han, Jenny
The Summer I Turned Pretty
For about-to-turn-sweet-16-years-old, Belly (short for Isabel), summers at the beach is where her real life happens. The rest of the year is just a period of time that she has to endure until the months when she gets to go back to the large beach house, populated by two best-friend mothers and their two children (each) for the three months of summer. Belly is the youngest, and the only girl, and that’s the way she likes it. This summer, however, everything changes. Belly lost her glasses, gained a few curves, and is suddenly not the just the little sister figure everyone can just ignore. Since she’s older, that means the boys she has known all her life are changing too. Her brother Steven is off to college in the fall, Jeremiah and Conrad (the lifelong family friends), are different this summer too. She hears tension and even arguments between her mother and her best friend Susannah. Plus, Susannah’s husband, who normally shows up on the weekends, never makes a single appearance. Most importantly, Belly finally finds that she sees the world a little differently through the eyes of a changing teenage girl: Belly’s forever-crush on
Conrad just might finally be fading away, especially when she meets Cam…
The Summer I Turned Pretty is Korean American, Jenny Han’s second novel. This book is very relatable, very well written and extremely captivating. Jenny Han captures Belly’s teenage emotions and attitude perfectly. She gives this novel both a
lightness and an aching depth that almost makes it feel as if you were watching a drama on TV. I really enjoyed reading this book and almost finished it all in one sitting! I would recommend this book to teenage girls and young adults or all ages.
From Teen Book Reviewer
author: Alexander, Jill S.
The Sweetheart of Prosper County
For people, who enjoy activities like horse-back riding, and strive in open areas, then this is the book for you. This book is about a girl named Austin Gray. She always wanted to be the sweetheart of prosper county. She did everything she could to be a sweetheart. The only thing in her way was momma. Momma was the kind of person who was very overprotective of Austin. However, she was always there when Austin needed her. As Austin tries to become a sweetheart, she faces challenges like constantly being insulted by Dean Ottmer. However, Austin never gave up on her dream, and Austin finally got to ride in the parade. Want to learn more about Austin and her challenges through becoming the sweetheart of prosper county? Then borrow the book at the library to find out!