Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”

Perkins’ YA romance novel is an absolutely delightful read, capturing the essence and rawness of young love. Set in one of the most romantic places on the globe, Anna and the French Kiss follows Anna’s adventure as she uncovers the beauty of Paris while juggling love interests, new friends, school gossip, film reviews, and family trials. A fast read illustrating the excitement and trials of high school, Perkins’ coming of age story is a fun-filled read that leaves one feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

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Book Review: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

“‘It just feels like…’ her voice small. ‘Sometimes it just feels like I’m faking.’
‘Maybe everyone feels that way.'”

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Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

“If it was true that moss did not have roots, and maternal love could grow spontaneously, as if from nothing, perhaps I had been wrong to believe myself unfit to raise my daughter. Perhaps the unattached, the unwanted, the unloved, could grow to give love as lushly as anyone else.”

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Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“Nick and I look at each other.
‘I’m not holding your hand,’ I tell him, smiling a little.
‘All right’–he nods–‘but know that I would.'”

An absolutely hilarious and adorable read, Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an insightful story that will bring readers to tears, both from laughter and woe. After a student beings to blackmail Simon after discovering his secret, Simon must follow all his requests or his (and his anonymous friends) secret will be vocalized to the world. Juggling family oddness, quarrels in friendships, accepting himself and hopelessly falling for his mysterious pen-pal, Simon’s adventures will make it nearly impossible to put this book down.

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Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

Elegant and mesmerizing, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is a beautifully written children’s novel that remains to hold incredible value in the world of literature for over a century. When Mary Lennox is sent to live with her estranged uncle after the loss of her parents, the life she knew vanishes and becomes full of strange happenings and peculiar secrets. Vibrant in both setting and writing style, Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel brings to light the importance of imagination and life. Will Mary unlock the secrets within Misselthwaite Manor? What magic lies beyond the walls of the Secret Garden?

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Let’s Talk Banned Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

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Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

A truly remarkable coming-of-age novel, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic tale illuminating on both the brightest and cruelest parts of humanity. Through the eyes of our main character Scout Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird retells the life of residence in the Maycomb County during a time that examples the simple life of the white community and the prejudice faced by the black community. Entertaining readers with both joyous and troubling events, Lee’s novel constantly has readers curious as to what will happen next. What will happen during Scout and her brother Jem’s adventures? Will justice be found for those prejudiced in the city of Maycomb?

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Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”

In her astounding debut novel, Palacio’s Wonder illuminates on the importance of acceptance and self-discovery at an age where we are still trying to determine who we are and where we fit in the world. Following the lives of Auggie Pullman and those close in his life, this coming of age novel truly uncovers the trials individuals go through when the world appears against them. A true work of art, Wonder will take you on a roller coaster of emotions within the first few pages of the novel. Will Auggie discover what true friendship is? How will the characters cope with their inner turmoils?

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Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.”

In her debut novel, Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything brings to light the importance of choices and the beauty which is life. A heartfelt story of trials and suffering, Yoon’s novel utilizes the beauty of language and the fun of imagery to convey to readers what is really happening inside the mind of Madeline “Maddy” Whittier, our main “bubble-girl” protagonist, and how she overcomes the obstacles life has given her. Will Maddy begin to find the true meaning of living?

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