For many of us, our high school experiences were defined by our identity. Some of us were considered jocks, cheerleaders, math nerds, indie kids, or drama geeks. Our labels were seen as one of the main ways in which our peers identified us. But what about our identities below the surface? In Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapien’s Agenda she explores the complex social dynamics of high school and the importance of being true to yourself. Continue reading
If there is a single commonality between those interested in the art of storytelling and the art of living, it is the secret wish to be involved in something greater than his or herself. Perhaps that something
could be discovering you come from a long line of magic beings from another reality. Whatever the case may be, the ideal still remains the same: we all desperately want something epic happen to us. Continue reading
According to the PTSD Foundation of America, one in three soldiers is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Heather Demetrios shows her readers firsthand what it’s like to love someone with PTSD in her novel I’ll Meet You There. As someone who has both dated and is a sister to men in the military, I have seen how being involved with war can affect a person. The worst part about these brave men and women falling ill to PTSD, is that less than 40 percent of them will get help. Another alarming result is that on an average day, five active military members will attempt suicide. PTSD is a problem that won’t be going away anytime soon whether it’s caused from war or other traumatic events. Demetrios brings to light this disturbing illness that affects the lives of our veterans every day. Continue reading
High School was hard enough, but can you imagine trying to go through it with Schizophrenia and the tragic disappearance of your younger brother on your shoulders? That’s what Miles Cole has to live with in the YA novel Schizo. Writing about mental illness isn’t an easy task, but Nic Sheff accomplishes it with beauty and ease. Continue reading
What happens when you mix together a crazy ex-governor, alligators, a chatroom kidnapper, a naïve teen and a protective cousin? Skink-No Surrender is what happens. And boy does it deliver! Author Carl Hiaasen takes his first dive into Young Adult literature mixing known characters from his adult novels with signature elements from his middle-grade novels. Most of you may know Hiaasen from his award winning book Hoot, an adventure book with his emphasis on the environment. I have yet to read Hoot, but from what I know of it and Skink, readers of Hoot will definitely get a kick out of Skink.
The last time I read about a boy living in a closet was in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but this isn’t a magical journey; it is quite the opposite.
Theodore Finch, however, wasn’t forced to live in a closet because of his muggle guardians, but was forced into a closet (both literally and figuratively) from his depression. All the Bright Places explores the world of depression while alluding to Virginia Woolf’s own depressive state throughout. Don’t let the depression scare you away; the book is filled with sarcasm and a love affair. Continue reading
Afterworlds is the new novel from Scott Westerfeld, who is best known as the author of the Uglies trilogy. He writes many Young Adult fiction novels such as the Laviathan series and the Midnighters trilogy. Continue reading