BEWARE: (minor) SPOILERS
The Lovely Bones is told in first-person narration by Susie Salmon. The book starts on December 6, 1973 which is important because “It was still back when people believed things like that didn’t happen.” This book made me realize that even when you’re gone the world still turns without you just the same way it did with you (yes I am referencing the book). I would classify this literary work by Alice Sebold as a twisted bildungsroman. Sebold has written The Almost Moon, and Lucky, as well.
After her death, Susie Salmon wakes up, “trapped in a perfect world.” She watches her family learn to deal with her death from her heaven (in this book different people have different "heavens" that correspond to their character). She is there through their tough times, happy times, and still watches them when they are alone. Susie sort of narrates their life when they fall apart and pick up the pieces. She is gone, yet there for it simultaneously.
Don’t read this book if what you’re looking for is a murder mystery, or a thriller (honestly I don't think the book fits under either of these categories). Read this book to learn to care for someone. Read this because you want to make Earth a home instead of a living place. Read this to change someone; maybe yourself. “I wish you all a long and happy life.” -K
P.S. This book is one of my favorites because the main character loses everything, and she isn't bitter or jealous that other people got to live their lives while she didn't. I think that the characteristic of people to not be envious is beautiful. "Jealousy's the ugliest trait." -Keri Hilson
Another book I like, how surprising. Girl in Pieces is a novel that is fiction, and deals with self-harm, suicide, addiction, and a plethora of other mental health issues, so this is your warning if you cannot handle that kind of content. To those who can, this novel is a sad one, no if and buts about it. Charlie Davis is a girl, who at seventeen, has probably seen more sadness and pain than an average person does in their lifetime. However, we get to learn about all of this as the book continues, because no spoilers will be given from my side. All that I can say is that she is in a psychiatric facility that helps people get better and lower their dependence on self-harm so they can stay clean. In the beginning, she seems like a person who observes, the chapters are short, suggesting she does not like to say much, and the longer chapters are describing other people and other things and situations and scenarios. As the book develops, we see her and she starts to get more comfortable while “talking” and talks about herself more. Then we get to learn about her, how she got to where she is, and how she will get better, if she gets better that is.
The story is not a unique one in the sense that many in this world crowded with people can relate to Charlie. This story is important, it shows how one has peaks and valleys when dealing with recovery. At some points, it does show the romanticism around mental illness, however it is more so to tell the reader that it is okay to be accepting of love, and that one’s illness does not immediately lead to a lonely, sorrowful life. It does not shy away from the feelings of loss and burden and pain. Girl in Pieces is a novel that has the capability of telling other people who are suffering in silence that they in fact do have a voice and should use it. -M
This novel is about a seven year-old named Elsa, who believes that all seven year-olds should have heroes. Elsa is mature for her age and this often angers the adults who have to deal with her. This book takes place in Sweden in 2013. The setting is important because the currency mentioned in the novel is different than what is used in other countries and the names of the characters are unique. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry deals with the loss of a loved one through the power of imagination and the belief that all seven year-olds deserve a superhero.
Fredrik Backman has written other novels such as A Man Called Ove, Britt-Marie Was Here, and Bear Town. His other books are similar to this one because they all discuss change. Backman is my favorite author I recommend My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry if you are dealing with the loss of someone dear to you or if you would just like a story to read.
This high fantasy series is about an assassin Celaena Sardothien. She has been stuck in this prison, Endovier, in this land, Ardalan, for about a year. Suddenly, she gets taken away from that prison, for a competition. The competition a position in the Royal Court, as the King’s Assassin. She just so happened to be the pick of the Prince of Ardalan for the competition. Little spoiler, she wins, but that’s just the beginning the story. The story gets really interesting really fast with involvements of magic, which seem to not exist in the land. There’s a bit of romance sprinkled in there, and the sequels just develop and spend time expanding this world that Maas created. This is a book and series that has a bit of everything, action, romance, drama, and a very strong female lead character.
In my opinion, the writing is so poetic and wonderful and captivating. However, this story is one I may not continue. I adored the first three books, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire. Once the fourth book came along, Queen of Shadows, I am starting to just be bored of the story. It is not because of the writing style or the plot, but because it is just too long of a story. To my knowledge, there are going to be seven books in this story, not including the short stories along with them. Two of them are yet to be seen by the general public. I, by nature, am a very impatient person, which is why I do not pick up long series very often. I am hopeful that once I finish the fourth book that I will want to continue, but for now there’s a pause for me on this series. Overall, if you are able to read very long series and keep up with it, I’m pretty sure you will find this enjoyable. -M
13 Little Blue Envelopes follows the summer adventures of Ginny Blackstone in third-person narration. The given narration provides all the details of Ginny’s backstory and current situation. This book takes place in 2005 in New York City, with the exception that location changes often in this story. NYC is a perfect location for our lead character because it is a diverse place that hints at the plot. This book taught me to take chances; to be unafraid of life. Ginny’s aunt leaves a package of thirteen envelopes, and inside each envelope is a task that Ginny must complete before she opens the following envelope. As Ginny completes these tasks she begins to take steps out of her comfort zone and love life for what it is. I would consider this book an amalgamation of adventure, healing, comedy, and a bit of romance.
Maureen Johnson has written Let It Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), and The Bane Chronicles, Devilish, and many more. I absolutely loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes. It encouraged me to really live and enjoy the life I was given. I would totally read more novels by Maureen Johnson. If any of you feel shy, or nervous about anything this book is a great read. I hope it inspires you as much as it did for me. If you can find this book at your library/bookstore it is a must-read!!