Flamer
Author: Mike Curato

Plot Summary:

The story takes place at a summer camp in 1995. The main character is named "Aiden". He is 13 and trying to learn how to fit in with all the other boys. Aiden becomes panicked when a certain boy makes his heart beat faster. The book surrounds a young kid who is figuring out how to accept himself. He is struggling with loving his body, his life at home, and his sexuality. A beautifully written book about how young kids need to make sure they love everything that makes them unique.

Comments:

The best part of the book was when Aiden overcame his dark thoughts. It was written so beautifully and emotionally. It sent a great message to teens that their lives have value. I really enjoyed the main character Aiden because I see a lot of myself in him. The only con about this book that I have is that I wish it was longer. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this book. I feel like Aiden's story has so much more to be told.
As Good As Dead
Author: Holly Jackson

Plot Summary:

The book surrounds the main character Pip Amobi-Fitz. The story takes off from Pip dealing with PTSD after solving two murder cases back to back. She has been having trouble sleeping and getting the murder of her last case out of her head. As the story progresses, Pip feels she has a stalker. She feels finding this stalker, will cure all her issues. We come to find out every case she has solved is connected.

Comments:

I really disliked the direction the author took with this book. I am not a fan of unhappy/unfinished endings. I feel this amazing trilogy deserved so much better. To improve, the author should have chosen a different route for the story. I would not suggest it to a friend because from the middle to the end of the book, it gets dragged. When you finish the book, you will ask yourself, "Was reading all those pages worth that ending?"
Girl, Interrupted
Author: Susanna Kaysen

Plot Summary:

In this book, it focuses on the author named Susanna Kaysen. In this book, she is 18 years old. She was admitted into a hospital in Massachusetts called McLean Hospital, and she was admitted because she had attempted suicide. Susanna Kaysen stayed in the hospital from April 27th, 1967, to September 1968. Susanna Kaysen suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, and she was getting mental health for it. Throughout the book, a decent amount of characters were introduced. Some of those characters include Georgina, Lisa, Polly, and Cynthia. Although they all have different mental issues, they all related to each other somehow. Throughout the book, Susanna Kaysen talks about her experiences at the mental hospital. She does not only talk about herself, she also talks about the experiences of other people. Georgina suffers from Schizophrenia, Lisa is a sociopath, Cynthia suffers from depression, and Polly also suffers from Schizophrenia. Georgina is known for being Susanna Kaysen’s roommate, Cynthia is known for always crying after shock therapy, Lisa is known for running away, and Polly is known for lighting herself on fire. Kaysen also talks about the workers there, like Valerie and Dr. Wick. The girls like Valerie because she is the only nurse who they could trust in McLean Hospital. Most of the memoir takes place at McLean Hospital, but towards the end of the book took place in Harvard Square.

Comments:

In general, I thought this book was absolutely phenomenal. I think this book was absolutely phenomenal because it accurately portrays mental disorders, and I loved the characters in the book. I think Susanna Kaysen portrays mental disorders, such as Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder extremely well. I feel like I could relate to Lisa because she is compassionate, and she just wants to feel free. This book also made me feel safe because there are other people in this world who suffer from mental disorders. This includes Susanna Kaysen, Lisa, Georgina, Cynthia, and Polly. My favorite part of this book was the part where Susanna reunited with Lisa at the end of the book. This was my favorite part of the book because Lisa looked so happy to see Susanna, and it looked like her life was getting better by the day. This was also my favorite part of the book because both Susanna and Lisa looked so free. This part of the book made me happy. My least favorite part of this book was when Torrey was sent back to Mexico. It was my least favorite part of the book because Torrey did not want to go back to Mexico after being in Massachusetts. The fact that all of the patients and the nurses cared about Torrey made this part even more upsetting. I think Torrey deserved better in this book, so this was my least favorite part.
They Both Die At The End
Author: Adam Silvera

Plot Summary:

This book follows Mateo, a shy and anxious homebody, and Rufus, a "bad boy" orphan who lost his parents in a car crash, on their day of death. In this society, something called "deathcast" was created which notifies people on the day that they are going to die, and subsequently an app called "Last Friend" was created in order to give dying people one last friend to get them through their day. Rufus and Mateo met on this app, as they both found out that they were dying on the same day. The novel shows them during their adventures and their goodbyes, showing them getting closer and closer over the course of only one day. Soon enough, Mateo gets the courage to kiss Rufus, and after some drama with Rufus' gang, they go back to Mateo's house and relax in each others arms. However, they couldn't beat the reliability of Death Cast, and Mateo gets burned alive by a kitchen fire. Rufus, distraught over Mateo's death, walks into the street without looking, and without a hand to hold him back. Although never fully explained, this suggests that Rufus got hit by a car.

Comments:

I think my favorite thing about the book is the different points of view and how they all connect. The POV switches from Rufus to Mateo to Rufus' friends to Mateo's friends and even to people Rufus and Mateo have barely interacted with. It was really interesting to see how the people that seem random and insignificant actually have a huge effect on the story -- like Howie, Delilah, and Andrea. My least favorite part of the book was probably the suddenness of the romance between Mateo and Rufus. I understand that they only had a day to get to know each other, but I feel like the actual chemistry between them that should have been the buildup for their kiss was really lacking. Mateo barely mentioned anything about being interested in Rufus and he never once hinted at his sexuality until the kiss. I think Rufus' buildup was better, as it was mentioned that he was bisexual and he did have moments of attraction towards Mateo, but still overall lacking.
The Hawthorne Legacy
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Plot Summary:

Avery Kylie Grambs inherited billions in a will from a man she had never met. After solving his first mystery that he left behind for her and his grandkids, the Hawthornes, they must move onto the next mystery he left for them to solve; find his supposedly dead son, Tobias Hawthorne. As the search begins for Toby, Avery will encounter many roadblocks, such as those who don't want Toby to be found, and other's who want to scare Avery out of her inheritance. Not only that, tensions are high between her and the two of the four Hawthorne brothers, Jameson and Grayson, as she tries to decide which one her heart desires more. Not only will Avery solve the mystery of the missing Hawthorne, she will also discover the mystery of her past, something she has been trying to decipher since her mother's death.

Comments:

This book was amazing! I couldn't put it down! My least favorite part was when we find out that while Tobias is a father figure in Avery's life, he is not in fact her biological father. I feel it hindered the plot slightly, since it would've tied everything in a nicer bow if they were related; it made the whole adoption plot line discovery slightly less significant. When we find out Toby isn't truly a Hawthorne, there is an elated feeling that Avery then must be related to him and thats why she was left the inheritance. Once I discovered that wasn't the case, I was slightly disappointed that he wasn't her true father. My favorite part of this book was the entire mystery behind it. Barnes does an amazing job of keeping you on your toes the entire story, and causing you to want to read more. Every corner there is a new twist which adds to the overall plot of this piece. If I had to choose the best part of this story, it would have to be when Avery and the rest of the Hawthorne family take a trip to the ski house up in Colorado. It was a scene with amazing imagery, and was a pivotal point in the story to move the plot forward.
We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour

Plot Summary:

The main character is named Marin. She was born and raised in California but runs off to New York after something tragic occurs. The book starts off in Winter break. Since she ran off, she hasn’t made any contact with her friends in California. Resulting in her not having anywhere to go to for break. So her college allows her to stay at the dorms during break. Her old friend Mabel says she going to come visit her for break. This makes Marin nervous because she did not even say good to Mabel when she left. As the book continues all the secrets and trauma unravels.

Comments:

My favorite part was during a flashback when Mabel and Marin kiss and have a sweet love scene. I actually don’t have a least favorite part of this book but, the reason I gave it two stars was because after reading it I was very underwhelmed.
"The Selection"
Author: Kiera Cass

Plot Summary:

America Singer is chosen to be a part of The Selection, a competition, in which 35 girls who are of age are picked to win the prince's heart and become his wife. With the country divided by castes, the girls have another reason to be divided as the girls of more superior castes look down upon those of less superior castes. With America's heart belonging to another, she is unhappy about being thrust into this competition. Who will Maxon Shreave, prince of Illéa, select to be his wife, the princess and future queen of the nation? While America must determine whether she wants to abandon a chance for her family to have everything they ever wanted, or follow the path she originally believed in - with another. Through discovering unlikely friends, and running for her life, America is in for a whirlwind of unlikely events all just from getting picked for The Selection.

Comments:

This book has romantic, happy, hopeful parts as well as sad and thrilling parts. This book will always leave you wanting more, dying to read on. It will bring out all the emotions as you read about a prince looking for his spouse whom he can love and trust to run the country and as you find out the truth behind the royal family and Illéa.
The Time Traveler's Wife
Author: Audrey Niffenegger

Plot Summary:

Clare Abshire has been in love with Henry DeTamble since he emerged into her meadow when she was six. The one thing about their love story is that it is very unconditional. Henry is a time traveler, and through him falling throughout time with no control over when or where he goes, Clare must learn to adapt for the man she loves. Clare struggles to wait until she meets the Henry of her present, while Henry must run as fast as his legs can take him. His disease of falling through time will threaten his life daily, and bring him back to repeat some of the worst moments of his life. While there is love and heartbreak in their relationship, neither Henry nor Clare will have regrets in their relationships.

Comments:

This book was incredible! The plot takes you all through time, however the author does an amazing job of keeping you on track with where you are in time. The love story that blossoms between Clare and Henry is illustrated magnificently by the author. This book will make you laugh and cry as you feel the highs and lows of Henry and Clare's relationship emanating from the pages. My favorite part was whenever Henry time traveled back to Clare's past. They always had the best times in the meadow together! My least favorite part was the ending of the book, with the sad truth of Henry and Clare's relationship and what will become of them.
Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding

Plot Summary:

When shipwrecked on a deserted island, a group of young English boys, ranging from 6-12 years old, must seek civility and order. In the beginning, it's all fun and games as Ralph, the protagonist who represents democracy, realizes that there are no adults (which means there are no rules!). As Ralph and Piggy, who represents intellect, meet, they must learn to cooperate with each other despite their physical differences. The whole novel is a tug-of-war contest between the boys' moral judgments rooted in how they were raised in civilized Britain and their growing savagery as a result from their prolonged stay on the island. When the thought of rescue dissipates, it is replaced with an innate capacity to do evil. The boys begin to realize that there is no one to punish them for their wrong behaviors. Jack and his hunters, who represent savagery, break away from the order that Ralph attempted to create, and they embark on a path of destruction, ultimately leading to the island's obliteration. Simon, who represents spirituality, recognizes what all the other boys couldn't recognize: the monster that the younger boys fear actually lurks within each and every one of them. The monster, or the Lord of the Flies, symbolizes humans' natural capacity for brutality. At the end of the novel, an ignorant British Naval Officer does end up saving the boys. They, however, weep over the lives they once lived prior to the shipwreck... because their innocence has now been stripped away from them as they enter the adult world.

Comments:

When I began reading "Lord of the Flies," I found it had a striking resemblance to Gilligan's Island. I wasn't too intrigued in the beginning, however the more I read, the more I was impressed with Golding's usage of literary devices, such as symbolism and allegory. I was quite literally blown away when I discovered the connection between the beloved conch with civilization- as well as the connection between the shattering of the conch with the destruction of order. My favorite aspect of the book is the motif of evil over goodness. It's true that all humans have an innate capacity to choose wrong, and this novel stresses the importance of maintaining a governing body because it is civilized society that keeps humans in check with one another. I disliked how the two "weakest" boys on the island experienced gruesome deaths. While I do understand that Social Darwinism plays a tremendous role in society, especially in a society that is ungoverned, I found it unfair that the two characters died because of their physical attributes. Ironically, they were the strongest mentally out of the whole group. All in all, I recommend "Lord of the Flies" to anyone in search of a great book this summer!
The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han

Plot Summary:

Belly Conklin has a summer tradition, every year once school ends, her brother and mom help her pack the car and they head up to Cousins Beach where they stay for two whole months. Along with them is Susannah, and her two boys Jeremiah and Conrad. Conrad has always captivated Belly, but he would never see her that way, which was why she was determined to make this summer different. Little did she know that it would be the last normal summer she would have, the last classic moms and kids summer. Relationships will be broken and made, and hearts will be broken. Words will be said that can’t be taken back, and at the center of it all is Belly who wishes everything could go back to how it was once upon a time when she was younger.

Comments:

This book was definitely amazing! It shocked me how drastically different its plot was from the tv show, but the common theme was still apparent in both! My favorite part has to be the ending of the book, when the kids all figure out that this may very well be their last summer in Cousins. They spend one final night at the pool together and make a pact that no matter what happens between them all, and no matter how Susannah’s condition is, they will always have summer, and meet there again.