Cory N.

The book My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a phenomenal book about a 17 year old girl named Samantha Reed who feels imprisoned by her politician, helicopter, single-parent mother, Grace.  She strives for perfection for Samantha and her sister, Tracy, as she is running for re-election for Senator.  As Samantha’s summer before senior year has arrived, she continues to sit on her roof and watch her different neighbors, The Garretts’.  One evening changed everything for Samantha and one Garrett in particular, Jase.  Things begin to get serious between Jase and Samantha as they see each other and spend more time together.  Samantha is balancing many things at the same time of this relationship and manages to keep it all from her mother.  One night, Samantha, Grace, and her boyfriend, Clay Tucker, were coming home from a campaign event in which both Grace and Clay drank too much but Grace offered to drive.  On the way home, Grace falls asleep at the wheel and ends up hitting a person.  They drove off like nothing happened, knowing they had hit a man, and not just any man.  They hit Mr.Garrett which sent the Garretts’ into financial and family distress.  Clay and Grace forbid Samantha to tell the Garretts’ and made her break up with Jase.  In the end, Jase finds out from Samantha that Grace hit Mr.Garrett and forgives Samantha from keeping it a secret.  The families kept it between them.  Grace paid for all medical bills and for help at their hardware store to repay them.  Finally, Grace drops out of the campaign, sells the house, and decides to start a new life.  Samantha and Jase’s relationship remains stronger than ever.

The main point of this book was that it was telling a complicated but interesting romance story between two teens.  I thought this book could be easily relatable to teenagers and specifically high schoolers.  Fitzpatrick went into intimate details of their relationship throughout the book which can be related to similar, real life love stories.  Each time you turned the page, you wanted to read more about the love and adventures of Samantha and Jase’s secretive relationship.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a romantic comedy.  I did like the suspense between keeping their relationship a secret from Samantha’s mother because it showed how love can be a mystery and adventure.

The main audience I would recommend this book to would be to the type of people who like stories about romance, adventure, comedy, and somewhat getting through a tragedy.  This is a very relatable story because of the things teens go through in high school such as relationships, college searching, tragedies, different stresses whether it be with friends, family, or boyfriends and girlfriends.  From personal experience, I have seen friendships and relationships fall apart because of the stresses high school can present to one person.  This book teaches one to be appreciative of what you have and be appreciative of the people you have in your life that want to help you.

Matt E.

Fall River Dreams by Bill Reynolds is a novel about the history of Fall River over the past few decades. The life stories of many iconic Fall River alumni are highlighted throughout the book. Chris Herren, his brother Mike, and their past coaches are the main discussion point. The book starts off by describing what it was like in the earlier ages in Fall River. Then Fall River was a small but prosperous city, fueled by the 140 mills that made it the world’s leading textile center. People from all over were trying to pursue their dream  of attaining one of the Victorian homes in the city’s prestigious areas. After World War I the mills closed leaving Fall River like many other towns with high unemployment rate, crime,  high school dropout rates increasing, and families struggling to keep up with the economy

I thought this book was great. Previously watching the 30 for 30 (unguarded)  on chris Herren I knew that a book that told some of his life story would intrigue me very much. I think Bill Reynolds could’ve done a better of describing more of Herren’s life at home rather than just talking about his life on the court only.

Overall this book really doesn’t relate to me in anyway because the times back then were much different and so were the people. I like how it was about a town that is close to me as I could really understand the book and see the changes that have been made and how life in Fall River is different today. One quote from the book that sticks out is “once you grow up in Fall River it is so hard to get out.”

Valentine D.

The first book leaves off when the Spiegelman’s are being taken to Auschwitz Anja is taken to Birkenau and Vladek stays in Auschwitz. Vladek dies in 1982, before Art is able to finish the first book and he talks about his struggles finishing Maus I. It’s his psychologist and Jewish survivor that pushes him to finish. He had recorded all of him and his father’s discussions and listened back to make the second book.

I think the second book is more personal because there is more interjection from Art’s life than the first one. You meet his wife Françoise and there is even a few pages where the characters are drawn with animal masks covering a human face instead of the usual body.
My family help hide Jews during World War II so I feel a special connection to the story because of my family history. And the intended audience is the new generation that studies the war in class and doesn’t understand the horror because of the way schools present history. It’s in comic book style and does make the story more appealing to the youth.

Valentine D.

Username:Evie is a graphic novel by Joe Sugg. It follows the life of Evie, an average English schoolgirl that gets bullied by her cousin Mallory. She lost her mother years ago so when her father dies, she has to go live with her cousin and her family. She discovers that her father created a game called E.SCAPE. She is transported into the game. Mallory follows her and brings chaos and devastation to the game that they leave seconds before it reboots.

I knew Joe Sugg from his Youtube Channel, Thatcherjoe. I think he did a good job, it’s very entertaining and just really well written. I don’t have much of a connection with the book because I have never been to England and I don’t have a VR but I have been bullied for years by my cousin.

I think the ideal audience is the geeky youth. The types of people that spend their days playing video-games. There isn’t a love interest in the book so I doubt that most girls will like it. It is a very boyish book.

Joe D.

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis is a nonfiction novel about Wall Street and high frequency trading. The main character, Brad Katsuyama, realizes that something is wrong with the stock market. He is a trader for the Royal Bank of Canada and he notices that high frequency traders are intercepting his orders and buying up the stock before he can. He wonders how this is possible, but it comes down to the microseconds it takes for a trader’s computer to transmit the order to arrive at the stock market. The HFT (high frequency trading) companies pay large sums of money in order to have faster technology so they can rip off the slower, less informed traders. Brad and other RBC employees create a coding system called Thor to even the playing field. It’s purpose is to block out HFT from buying their bids before them by causing the trades to slow down.

Later in the book, Brad and some of his co-workers decide to boldly create their own stock exchange called IEX. They need an enormous amount of funding so they begin marketing their new stock market to big companies. They inform them of how they’re being ripped off by HFT firms and that their new exchange will even the playing field. Brad does this by hiring the best engineers, programmers, and brokers on the stock market with a promise that they will make the exchange fair for all. In order to stop the HFT they need to delay their orders by making the fiber optic cables loop around enough that it slows the time an order takes to be placed. The HFT have lost their advantage and IEX is almost impossible to find a loophole in.

In general this is a good book and I’d recommend it to anyone who has an interest in business, more specifically the stock market. The book was interesting and extremely informative on the inner workings of the stock market. Although there is little action in this novel, it manages to hold the reader’s interest throughout. Michael Lewis successfully teaches the reader about the stock market without overburdening the reader with facts and statistics. Personally, I found this book interesting because I plan on majoring in Finance, so it applies to what I’ll be learning in college.

R.J. S.

Me Talk Pretty One Day is one of the few comedic novels that I have read that simultaneously make me laugh, while I praise the writing. Author David Sedaris is a brilliant writer, able to conjoin the humorous elements of his fantastical failures with his own disjointed thoughts with such ease, you can imagine being in his situation, processing the information exactly as he did. Whether it is a complex story about the cultural differences between America and France, or his experience taking one gigantic dump, he is able to inject his charisma along with his ridiculous ideals in order to make the audience both sympathize with him, all while secretly hoping he is placed in more awkward situations for our amusement

The only consistent character is the narrator David Sedaris, recounting experiences, no matter how unpleasant, from his own life. His thoughts seem nonsensical and unreasonable at times, which just makes for a more rewarding story. There are many short stories that showcase his talent for getting into uncomfortable situations, and his reactions are priceless. The various other characters met, even if unnamed, are written so in depth yet so satirically, that each new one seems straight out of a sitcom. He usually learns a minor lesson from these experiences, which in turn leads to new experiences where Sedaris can use this newfound knowledge.

I can’t say I relate to a homosexual man’s experiences in rural France, so this novel doesn’t exactly connect to my own life. It merely makes me realize that any moment can be turned into a comedic one. The ideal audience should be moderately mature, and is most likely aimed towards young-middle aged adults, who can probably relate more to the various oddball situations Sedaris finds himself in throughout the years.

Mackenzie B.

Looking for Alaska, by John Green, is a young adult novel about Miles “Pudge” Halter’s experience at Culver Creek Boarding School. Miles has never had many friends, but is paired with a very outgoing roommate, Chip “Colonel” Martin, that changes Pudge’s experiences greatly. Pudge is obsessed with reading biographies and learning famous last words. He is seeking to find his “Great Perhaps” and is introduced to Alaska Young. Alaska is dangerous for Pudge, but his heart is soon stolen by her. Alaska and Colonel are a rebellious group at the school and love a good prank. At first Pudge does not know what he has gotten into, but in the end fits right in. Does boarding school change Miles “Pudge” Halter or does the girl change everything?

I enjoyed this book greatly from the second I opened it. I have read two other of John Green’s books and was excited to see how Looking for Alaska would be different from his other’s. John Green does an amazing job relating his stories to his audience and keeping them interested from beginning to end. There were times I had to continue reading, because I was so attached to the characters I had to know what happened next. The book is split into “Before” and “After”, and by the time I was reading the end I was left with so many thoughts.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Looking for Alaska, and would recommend it to anyone, who loves action and comedy mixed with a little romance.

Katelyn Z.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is an amazing book. The two main characters are Amy and Nick. The two seem to be the perfect couple. Never got into too many arguments, were always happy and were completely in love. That’s what we were to believe. This relationship takes a turn for the worse when one day, Amy disappeared. The police are searching and everyone is making their best efforts to help find Amy. The problem is, the police have very few leads. The only clues they have to go off of are scattered notes left from Amy to Nick for their fifth wedding anniversary; which happened to be the day she went missing. Nick tries to hide many secrets from everyone possible, including the police, his twin sister Go and especially public media. Without any other leads, everyone begins to frame Nick for the murder of his wife Amy Dunne. We then learn many secrets and lies about Nick and Amy. But who really is the “bad guy”?

I admit that I am not a big reader. However, after reading only a couple of chapters of the book, I was hooked. The book is filled with suspense and mystery, which made me want to not stop reading. There are so many plot twists and surprises from beginning to end. The book held my attention throughout the whole story, which I find hard for myself. I think the book was written very well and I think Flynn did an amazing job of making the reader want to always read more.

I cannot connect my life to this book too much. The only connection I made was about lies. Many people, including myself, face lies every day coming from either friends, family or in relationships. In Gone Girl, we learn that those who lie do not always get caught or get in trouble, no matter how big the lie may be. I have faced situations like this when you know someone has lied about something, but since you only have your words to prove it, some may not believe you. From this, you have to learn to move on and not to dwell on the wrong decisions made by others, because just because they did something wrong, does not mean they will be punished for it.
I think the intended audience for this book is people that like suspense and crime stories. Within this falls murder, lies, drama, horror, mystery and many more aspects. So, if anyone enjoys any of these topics, I think she will find Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl perfect for her liking.

Sam G.

The book Fearless by Eric Blehm is a story about the journey of Navy SEAL, Adam Brown.  Brown’s journey in becoming a Navy SEAL was not easy.  Fearless tells the story of Adam Brown growing up in Arkansas and the path he took in eventually becoming a Navy SEAL.  Nothing came easy for Brown growing up with an older brother and twin sister.  Brown was fearless though.  Spending the majority of his youth jumping off bridges or going head to head in football with much larger football players.  Nothing scared Adam Brown.  The only thing that stopped Brown was his addiction to drugs.  After graduating high school, Brown struggled at college and turned to drugs to cope.  Originally just doing drugs occasionally with his friends, it eventually turned into a way of life for Adam.  Drugs changed Adam Brown.  Brown would disappear for weeks with his family at home worried sick.  In order to sustain his addiction, Adam Brown turned to crime.  This led to further problems for Brown as he now had a criminal record.  Each time he got caught, he would vow to his parents that he would go to rehab and put it in the past.  This went on for years as Adam relapsed time after time.  Fortunately for Adam Brown, he met the love of his life Kelley.  Kelley set the foundation for the next of Adam Brown’s life, the Navy.

Needing a way to prove to Kelley and his family that he had put drugs in the past, Adam Brown enlisted into the US Navy.  Though many people doubted Adam’s willpower to stay drug-free, Brown set his own goal to not only stay drug-free but to also become a prestigious Navy SEAL.  After years of hard work and determination, Adam Brown had become a Navy SEAL.  The book is made up of many stories told by his fellow Navy SEALs that occurred during his time while in Afghanistan.

For anyone that is interested in a story of perseverance or the fight against the Taliban, I strongly recommend reading “Fearless” by Eric Blehm.  Adam Brown’s biggest fight did not occur on the battlefield though.  For years Brown battled drugs that nearly ended his life.  Being outcasted for years, Brown had no other choice but to join the military.  Adam Brown is the ultimate American who sacrificed his life for the betterment of the United States.

Bobby B.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, is an interesting sci-fi book although it is long and drawn out.   It is a lengthy book but is easy to get hooked into the adventurous plot of survival and follows the aspects of different people.  It has a great plot and is drawn out just enough to give the reader the details needed to understand everything that is occurring in the book to full capacity.  It has a slow start but begins to pick up speed as characters learn more and more of what is happening around them.  The way in which it changes perspectives from one person to the next is a great tool.  It builds tension with one character’s point of view, and then relaxes when it switches to a different point of view, this leads to a heightened collective suspense.    

The aspects of the book switch between Cassie, Ben, Evan, and Sammy.  Although all very different characters, Cassie, Ben, and Evan all share the same common goal of going to save Sammy from what could mean certain death.  The character development is ultimately one of the biggest factors of the book that can hold a reader and have them wondering what will happen next.  The changes in the characters become most evident when the plot begins to unfold.  The true character is exposed crisis strikes and keeps the reader intrigued and engaged throughout.
I personally liked the book because the plot brings you in and keeps you invested.  I, not being an avid reader, had thought this book would be a daunting chore but as you are more consumed by the plot the pages seem to fly by.  Although the size of the book can be discouraging, I would recommend it to everyone who loves sci-fi.  It appeals to people who love aliens and survival books. This book is able pair both together very well to form a must read for sci-fi fans.