Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I live in two separate worlds.  No matter how hard I try to keep them apart, a collision is inevitable.  I have my world at my prep school, Williamson and then there's my other world in my hood, Garden Heights, South Central L.A.  I'm constantly suppressing who I am cuz these white folks wouldn't be able to handle it. If I ain't careful...Hell, if they ain't careful...they gonna get some of "Garden Heights" Starr.  I'm trying to stay true to me, but sometimes I feel like I'm losing me.  Chris, my white boyfriend that daddy don't know about, knows about Garden Heights, but he can't ever come up in my hood.  Ever!  I don't even hang with my old crew like I used to.  Kenya is always riding me about it, too. Ever since I watched my childhood friend, Natasha, die in a drive-by, mama and daddy wanted better for me, Seven and Sekani.  So they put us in Williamson.  What good is any of that if we still gotta go home to Garden Heights every day?  Don't get me wrong.  I love my hood!  I love the people in my hood.  Don't mean it's the best place for me and my brothers.

Then there's Khalil.  We've been friends since we were like three years old and don't think for one minute that he has ever let me forget that he's older than me (only by a few months).  So, Kenya's giving me flack about not hanging and wouldn't you know it.  The one time I do decide to, I run into Khalil.  See, it's been a minute since I've seen him.  I just got so caught up in my other life.  I run into him at this party in The Heights.  We just hanging and catching up when...POP..POP...POP!  Gun shots ring out and we hightail it out of there!  We escape only to be faced with another threat, a least a threat to a young Black boy in South Central.  If the gangs don't get you, the cops will.  I'm Starr Carter and I want justice for Khalil.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

My name is Libby Strout and I am fat.I'm also known as, "America's Fattest Teen."   If that has been a struggle for me, how can you possibly have anything negative to say about me?  I mean, after all, it is MY struggle.  When my mom died, I didn't know how to cope and my dad....well...I don't blame him.  He's great and has always done the best he can.  He was grieving, too.  Once my weight was out of control, I'll never forget how humiliating it was to have the fire department cut me out of my home.  Literally, they had to cut out a wall to get me out of the house.  Sometimes you just want to forget, but the bullies won't let you.  Now!  I'm choosing me!  I'm an amazing person and if no one can appreciate that, too bad.  "Hey!  Get off me!  Let go! Jerk!  Nooooooo!" and then I punch his lights out!

Jack Masselin.  That's me.  I look good; I have a killer smile; and you want to be me.  Not really.  You don't want to be me because I have a secret.  I can't recognize faces from one minute to the next.  My parents don't even know.  I've managed to recognize people by identifiers, like voice, shape or color of your hair.  Easy stuff.  But sometimes, it doesn't work for me and man, does it get me in so much trouble!  Kissing girls who aren't my girlfriend.  Mistaking the wrong kid for my little brother and being accused of kidnapping him from a party.  Hugging girls that I don't know.  "Wait, did you just punch me?"  She did!  This mistake may have been the best thing that ever happened to me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Hunt Killers Trilogy by Barry Lyga

Hey.  My name is Jasper Dent.  Some people, Howie, my best friend and Connie, my girlfriend, call me "Jazz."  I'm not an alcoholic and I don't do drugs, but I the son of one of the most infamous serial killers, Billy Dent.  His actions ruined (and still ruin) my life.  I live in a small town, Lobo's Nod.  Yeah, he's locked up now, but Billy Dent doesn't stay anywhere he doesn't want to.  It's happening again.  Serial killings.  How is this possible?   He's locked up!  Ahhhhh....Billy's following.  I almost forgot all about that.  There are some folks who think Billy Dent is a hero.  It's like some kind of cult following. People think what he did was magnificent.  I think it sucks and I feel like I'm paying the price for what he did.  All these stupid copycat killers.  It's bad enough it happened in Lobo's Nod, now ti's spread to New York City and the FBI wants me to help. Remember when I said Billy doesn't stay anywhere he doesn't want to?  Well guess what?  He's escape and the killings are escalating.  Billy can't be working by himself!  Will I become a serial killer like him?  After all, he did teach me everything he knows.  

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

My name is Lady Catherine Pinkerton and I am doomed to marry a king I do not...can not love.  Before I bore you with all those details, you first need know that this is not a story about "Alice in Wonderland."  This is my story...the story of the Queen of Hearts and how I came to be.  You see, I wasn't always so cruel.  I was kind, loving and thoughtful.  I love to bake because it gives me such pleasure to put the happiness of others before my own.  I bake simply delectable dishes if I must say so myself!  Marianne (my maid) and I are going to open a bakery some day!  I will not be told how to live my life or will I?  My parents expect me to marry the ridiculous King of hearts! I never thought I had any other choices until I met him.  Jest.  He's everything the king is not.  Brave. Funny. Quite Attractive. There is something here, but to no avail, my parents will have their way.  I didn't meant to fall in love with Jest.  It just happened.  I control my destiny!  I will not yield to the whimsical desires of others.  Join me on this magical journey of delectable treats, monsters, courtiers, kings, queens, and a Cheshire Cat!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Love is always unexpected and never happens as you plan.  My name is Lucy and I live in  NYC.  I live on the 24th floor of my apartment building.  It happened because of a blackout.  These aren't unusual for us, but it just so happens, my parents are in London and my twin brothers are in California at college.  It's a good thing our apartment building has a doorman,  but it stinks that I'm stuck on this elevator.  At least I'm not alone.  There's a boy on  the elevator with me.  Awkwaaaaard!  After all the small talk, he may not be so bad.  Owen.  That's his name and his dad is the new super in our building.  He's on his on and I'm on my own...for now at least  So, while the power is out, we figure we may as well be on our own together.  That one night changed my life.  I like him.  I really like him.  Unfortunately, my parents decide to move across the big pond to the UK.  We were over before we begin.  Postcards.  That's our thing.  Nothing like writing an old fashioned letter or postcard.  There's just something about the wait; the anticipation.  Email and texting seem so immediate.  From NYC to Edinburgh to Tahoe to Paris to San Francisco to London to Seattle and back to NYC.  Our story unfolds.  the geography of us:  Lucy and Owen.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Everybody Sees The Ants

My name is Lucky Linderman.  I'm not a memorable guy unless you remember all the horrible crap that Nader did to me!  Nobody is ever around when it's happening.  Nobody, not even my parents, believe me when I tell them.  Somehow it's always my fault.  The only person who believes me is my grandpa and he's M.I.A. He went missing in the Vietnam War. In my head, I escape that neanderthal, Nader, and join my grandpa in the jungles of Vietnam.  If it wasn't for grandpa and his buddies, I would have never made it.  Besides the time with grandpa, my trip to Arizona with mom for the summer has turned about to be kind of okay.  I learned some stuff about myself and for me this is progress.  Nobody deserves to be bullied, big or small.  What gets me is the people who actually do know what's going on and do nothing to help.  Are you going to be a bigger jerk by not getting involved?  Don't act like you don't see it.  If you do, you're just another Nader who is bullying or allowing someone to be bullied...making their life a living hell.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schnieder

Hey.  My name is Ezra Faulkner.  Never in a million years could you have told me that I'd be sitting on the opposite side of the cafeteria with the debate team.  I used to be the with the in crowd.  Heck, I was the in crowd!  Everyone followed my lead. The end of everything as I knew it was the beginning of everything:  friendships; clubs; sports; girls.  I was so blind to how the people I used to think were my friends really were?  They just really weren't nice people.  They were never even my friends because of who I am, but who I was...varsity tennis star. Cassidy Thorpe saw right through all of the BS.  She saw me for who I was, even with my shattered leg.  Everything with her is so unpredictable.  All I want right now is to be who I want to be; not who I'm expected to be.