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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Clay Jensen comes home to find a package at his door. No return address. Inside, he finds a box full of cassette tapes. As he plays the first tape, he hears her voice: Hannah Baker. Hannah Baker had committed suicide. So why was he hearing her on these tapes a couple weeks after she died? As he keeps listening, he realizes what the exactly the tapes are-Hannah's very own suicide tapes. The tapes recognize 13 people who played key roles in Hannah's decision to take her own life. Clay is one of them. But what number is he? And what exactly did he do? After all, he had a crush on Hannah Baker.
This book is absolutely amazing and definitely one that I feel anyone can read and enjoy. You can be a girl, a boy, a teen, or an adult. It doesn't matter, because it appeals to one thing we all have in common: our emotions. Clay is on the tapes, and as you listen, you hear about horrible things that people did to Hannah, so what did Clay do? Even as you read on, wondering, you can't stop from feeling sympathy for this kid who just doesn't understand. Hannah comes alive on the pages, with alternating points of view of Clay and her tapes. Thirteen Reasons Why answers a lot of initial questions you have about the book, but in the end, it leaves you with many more about life and your influences on other people.
Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
Anna Bloom is a teen dealing with depression. After seeing a psychiatrist that doesn't help, her parents feel their last hope is to send her to a psychiatric hospital. Dropped off, not knowing how long she's going to be there, Anna begins her stay feeling understandably nervous. Ss time goes on and she begins moving up levels for good behavior, she finds that things aren't so bad. She meets a boy named Justin who becomes not only a friend, but a crush. She shares a room with a pregnant girl named Sandy, who must carry around a baby doll to learn how to care for her coming child. She even finds friends in unlikely people. More than that though, she begins to learn that it's okay to be yourself.
Get Well Soon is a book adorned with a frown on the front cover, but it's actually hilarious! This book is told in the style of letters that Anna writers to her friend Tracy, but never actually sends while she is in the hospital. You get inside her mind and find out exactly what she thinks about everything and everyone: the people she meets, the activities she has to participate in, even the food!
This book is by far one of my new favorites. Anna is a character I feel that will be relatable to many girls around the world, and it's definitely worth a read. As I read through the book, I was almost always laughing about something or curious about something. Two very good reasons that kept me reading! Now it's your turn!
Bad Girls Club by Judy Gregerson
Destiny is a teenager who essentially has to play mom. Her mom is slowly slipping away from the family and she's starting to lose touch on reality. As Destiny tries to help her mom, she also has to be there for her younger sister, Cassidy. Cassidy is getting hit. Destiny is getting yelled at. The dad doesn't want to put their mom in a hospital. And what happened at Crater Lake? What secrets are Destiny and her dad hiding from everyone around them? And when things start collapsing more and more, what will a young girl do when she only wants to keep her family together?
Just the title Bad Girls Club gives you a preconceived idea about the book, but I promise you, it's probably nothing like you might have first thought. This is a story about abuse and learning when you need to let go. Throughout this book, you'll be begging for Destiny to see the light and praying that it all turns out okay in the end. But you know, in life, it's hard to have a happily ever after.
Sisters in Sanity
by Gayle Forman
Brit Hemphill's parents met at a U2 concert and eventually got married. They traveled the world and finally settled down and opened up CoffeeNation, a place where artists and musicians came to hang out. This allowed Brit, an only child, to grow up around the likes of Kurt Cobain. It was, literally, the life.
Suddenly, she finds her self not on a family trip to the Grand Canyon but enrolled in Red Rock Academy. They call what they do there therapy, but it's more like "tough love" for girls they feel are out of control. Defiant Brit finds herself learning how to survive in a place where you fake it or you lose all control.
Soon, Brit finds safety in numbers when she forms a secret club with V, Bebe, Cassie, and Martha. Some of their "crimes" include being overweight, maybe being a lesbian, and being, let's say, a little too boy crazy.
This book is definite girl power, but beyond that, it's about trusting in your self and not backing down from what you believe in, even if the odds are against you. Forman shows that the things everyone seems to be so afraid of in a person are just one part of them. They are so much more.
I recommend this book to any and every girl out there, to show the meaning of being you and what friendship truly is.
Song to go along with this book: "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett
What I like to call Bebe's theme song.
An Open Vein
By: J.M. Warwick
John is sixteen and has just graduated from high school a year early. He's gifted, smart, but can he figure out the mess he's in now?
He comes to stay with a family friend, Kane, who lives in New York, but soon finds this friendly vacation turning into a life-changing experience.
Lies hidden from him are finally revealed. Kane has lived John's whole life as a third parent of sorts. Birthdays? He's there. School functions? Again, he's there. However, this summer, he finds out Kane wasn't just a good family friend. He is John's father.
Angry at his mom for keeping this secret and wanting to bond with Kane just as much as Kane wants to bond with him, John stays in New York and does as Kane wishes him too. But things start to get odd and John doesn't know what Kane wants anymore.
He finds himself without any clothes and being locked in his room without any food. It's all part of an experiment, Kane says. John plays along, often feeling angry and frustrated, but wanting to please Kane more than anything. This was his father. They'd missed out on so much already, he didn't want to mess it up now.
More and more happens over the summer that makes the bonding experience harder on both of them. Kane and John are being threatened by mysterious letters, making John an unwilling hermit. But more than that, John starts to question what Kane is doing and why. He's a doctor, his father. How could it be wrong?
This book is a psychological novel that keeps you guessing and wondering as the book goes on. You'll flip the pages frantically, yearning for all the answers. Short in length, but packed with content, it's a definite must-read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Just be warned: read the first page and prepare to be sucked into John's crazy.
Can you believe it?
By: Jessica Blank
Almost Home is a fictional view of the gritty life on the streets for a group of very different teens, but who have one thing in common: they're all running away from something. Some things are bigger, while some are smaller, but in their own eyes all of it is worthy of them to leave. We start off with a young girl named Eleanor who is taken under the wing of a veteran "street kid" named Tracy, who rechristens her Eeyore. But can a new lip ring and purple hair really make her belong? The story moves on to show the points of view of Rusty, Squid, Scabius, Critter, Laura, and even Tracy herself. However, when the only friends you have are the ones you keep close, who will survive this kind of life together?
These teens have different homes, different backgrounds, and different ways of dealing with things, but through this book you'll see their stories up close and personal. By the end of this book, you'll be stunned to think that though these seven may be make believe characters, there are people out there just like them.
If you like books about abuse, drugs, or trying to make it through, then this book is for you. But if you just like books that deal with real issues, this is most definitely for you as well. This book had me thinking of these characters as real people and I just wanted to reach through the pages and protect them as best as I could. I think really getting to know characters and feel for them is a good sign of a great book.
16+ (drug use, sexual references, etc.)
Review by: Lauren
Song to go along with this book: "City of Angels" by The Distillers