Tag Archives: best friends

Winger, Review

17 May

Winger by Andrew Smith

Plot: Ryan Dean West (Ryan Dean is his full first name, though he is known by the nickname Winger) is a 14-year-old junior at a rich boarding school called Pine Mountain. Placed into Opportunity Hall, a dorm for troublemakers, Ryan Dean is forced to room with Chas Becker, a popular but difficult person to get along with. Winger tries to maintain his friendships with fellow Rugby players Seanie and JP, but that does not always prove to be an easy task due to their age differences and female trouble.

Ryan Dean is trying to take things to the next level with his good friend Annie, while also dealing with not altogether unwelcome advances from Megan, who is dating Chas. He also forms an unlikely bond with another rugby player who takes a lot of heat from the other guys.

Would you recommend this book? Yes, for more mature audiences. There is a lot of bad language and adult themes. I like the fact that Ryan Dean is so honest as a narrator so you know exactly what he is thinking and feeling, and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud about some of what he encounters, and just his thoughts in general.  There is a surprise ending that I was most definitely not expecting. I look forward to reading the sequel to see what senior year has in store for Ryan Dean.

5 stars

–Jen

99 Days, Review

29 Apr

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Plot: This is the story of a girl named Molly who is back home for the summer after running off to boarding school for her senior year of college. She was best friends with Julia and dating her brother Patrick–when she and Patrick briefly broke up junior year, Molly had a secret fling with his brother Gabe. Molly’s author mother used the details of Molly’s dramatic situation to write a best-selling novel, unbeknownst to Molly. When the book came out, it wasn’t hard for everybody to figure out the truth, which caused Patrick to break up with Molly for the second time. Unable to deal with the onslaught of hatred and hurtful words and actions from her former friends and classmates, that is when Molly left for boarding school.

Now back for the 99 days of summer before going off to college, Molly must deal with her resentment toward her mother for exploiting her pain for her own gain, her confused feelings toward both Gabe and Patrick, mean girls, and a budding friendship with Patrick’s new girlfriend.

Would you recommend this book? Yes, for older teens. Although I was not happy with the fact that there was such a double standard–everybody was shunning Molly for the events that took place, but nobody was acting like the brothers had done anything wrong.

4 stars

–Jen

 

L8r, g8r, Review

23 Nov

L8r, g8r by Lauren Myracle

Plot: This is the third book in a series following three friends through their high school career. This book takes place in the second half of the girls’ senior year, and chronicles their lives through texts and IMs. The girls chat about boyfriends, school, college applications, parents, and their ongoing confrontations with classmate Jana. There are frank discussions about sex, birth control, and drug/alcohol use, which is why this book (and the others in the series) are frequently challenged books. The beauty of this book is the “nothingness” that seems to happen – it’s just a bunch of friends talking about their lives. But the reader can appreciate how interesting and important these every day events can be. I was reminded of high school with my friends, when a good bit of gossip could stop the world in its tracks, and a taking a relationship to a new level was the most important thing to happen – ever.

Would you recommend this book? Yes, but for older teens, since it had a lot of mature themes.

4 stars

–Lisa

Extraordinary Means, Review

16 Nov

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Plot: This book is set in modern-day times, however the world is afflicted with a form of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Lane suddenly finds himself in Latham House, a boarding school for teenagers with the disease, so that they don’t end up infecting anybody else. He finds it very difficult at first to be away from his friends, family, and especially his girlfriend, as life carries on outside the grounds without him. He decides to try to keep up with his schoolwork from his old school in order to keep on track for college, but soon finds himself too worn out to keep at that pace.

Lane soon enough finds himself swept up with a crowd of friends including Sadie, a girl he hadn’t seen since summer camp many years before, who was still angry with him over a misunderstanding. The group does everything they can to live life to the fullest. Will they be able to hang on long enough to be released, or is Latham the end of their journey?

Would you recommend this book? Yes. I liked the main characters,who told the story in alternating chapters. I also liked how this book introduced a strand of illness that does not exist in the real world, without making it yet another dystopian novel. This could have been any other book if not for that particular illness.

4 stars

–Jen

Magonia, Book Trailer

13 Nov

Girl Online: On Tour, Book Trailer

24 Oct

The Good Girls, Review

28 Sep

The Good Girls by Sara Shepard (sequel to The Perfectionists)

Plot: Where we last left off, Julie, Parker, Ava, Mackenzie, and Caitlin suspected their teacher, Mr. Granger, of being involved in the death of their classmate Nolan Hotchkiss. The girls had played a prank on Nolan who later ended up dead, though not by their doing. This book revolves around the girls trying to clear their name, which is made more difficult as more people they know end up dead. Suspicions are raised; are the girls now starting to suspect each other?

Would you recommend this book? Yes. There was a major plot twist close to the end that I was not expecting at all. It made me want to go back and reread the first book as well as the second book to see how I missed it. Perfect for fans of mystery and suspense. The ending is also set up for another book, should the author wish to continue the series.

5 stars

–Jen

The Good Girls, Book Trailer

25 Sep

The Beginning of Everything, Review

21 Sep

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Plot: This book follows a high school guy named Ezra who walks with a limp and has a brace on his wrist following an accident several months ago. He was the most popular guy in school dating the most popular girl, but he starts the new school year distanced from his friends. What you don’t know right away is what sort of accident it was, and also you don’t know if he chose to pull away from his friends or if they ditched him.

He starts hanging out with an old friend Toby and his group of friends and joins the debate team. Through all this he meets a new girl named Cassidy. They begin a sort of love/hate relationship that develops into a bit more. However she is also harboring a secret that is linked to why she left her last school so suddenly and dropped the debate team with no warning.

Ezra will find himself changed by the end of the book, and left to reflect on whether the changes are positive or negative, and also left to figure out the true catalyst for the change.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

4 stars

–Jen

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Review

3 Aug

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Plot: Based on the title, it would be very easy to think this is another sob story along the lines of The Fault in Our Stars. However, the author works very hard to keep it more lighthearted, open and honest. Greg is asked by his mom to befriend Rachel, a girl from school that he vaguely knows from when he was younger, who has just been diagnosed with Leukemia. Greg has to take the time to Google what this disease even is, and proceeds to treat the whole situation as best he can,  though he openly references how awkward it is to suddenly talk to somebody in high school that you don’t normally talk to, without making the reason seem too obvious.

Greg and his friend Earl, both amateur filmmakers, begin to hang out with Rachel often, and try to navigate the social pressures that this adds to their plates in school. Much of this novel is told in dialogue, almost like a play, which helps to keep the story flowing.

Would you recommend this book? I would recommend this book to an older teen, since there was a lot of cursing and graphic descriptions that I would not advise a younger teen reading about. I wish there was a little more resolution at the end, as important scenes seem to be glossed over a bit too casually for my taste.

3 stars

–Jen