Book Review: Invitation to Poetry by Mihai Brinas

“i leave taking with me

the sadness of so many books left unread”

Eloquent and memorizing, Brinas’ Invitation to Poetry invites readers to experience a number of emotions through the simplicity of the written word. A collection of 61 brilliantly written poems, Brinas discusses a wide range of topics that are incredibly relatable and relevant to the world today. From the beauty of love to the struggle of identifying oneself in the world, Brinas’ Invitation to Poetry is such a delightful read that one may consider a must read collection.

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Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“And it seemed to me that Dante’s face was a map of the world. A world without any darkness.

Wow, a world without darkness. How beautiful was that?”

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an elegantly written coming of age story, one that’s truly unique in the realm of YA literature. During one profound summer day, Ari and Dante meet and quickly become the closest friend they each have in the world. But when tragedy strikes and subsequent events occur, Ari and Dante’s friendship is put to the test. Set in the 1980’s, Sáenz’s emotional roller-coaster of a novel opens readers’ eyes to a world where openly discussed topics were once tabooed and what happens when you don’t fit into the “norm” that society has dictated for us. An addictive story with tremendously brilliant characters, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is nearly impossible to put down!

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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: 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: All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

“Constellations aren’t obvious until the moment they are. Then you wonder how you hadn’t been able to see them before when the pictures are all so clearly there, telling a story.”

Hauntingly beautiful and dangerously enticing, Samantha Mabry’s All the Wind in the World is a fantastic addition to the romance genre in young adult literature. With the desire to eventually own their own land and live a life of peace, Sarah Jac and James are forced to find work in the harsh conditions of the maguey fields. But when a disaster strikes, the two must find a new place to work, where their strength and relationship will be put to the test. In this gripping tale of love and sorrow, Mabry’s novel promises to have readers intrigued until the very last sentence.

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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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