Posts in Category: human behavior

Catcher in the Rye

by JD Salinger

The novel, Catcher in the Rye, tells the story of a wandering boy and his many encounters after being expelled from a prestigious private school. Set in 1950's New York, this story follows the cynical protagonist, Holden Caulfield, as he attempts to make sense of the many values of life.

The book, to sum it up in one word, was quite pretentious. Not to say that it was bad because it most certainly was not. The writing itself was masterful in its complex symbolism and metaphors. The main character, however, could be infuriating at times with most of his decisions being unrealistic at best and idiotic at worst.

The book is definitely an acquired taste. Some people may absolutely love it and some absolutely despise it. To each their own. Personally, I would recommend this book to others just so they could formulate their own opinions on it. To anyone who likes coming of age and self-discovery stories, you might want to try this one.

Hannah, 16


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The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts there's tension rising in the town. Talk of witchcraft was the rumor people were gossiping about. Eventually many girls were accused of practicing witchcraft. This sent the town into a frenzy. Trials were conducted, people lied, and people questioned the situation. 

As a person interested in the history regarding the Salem Witch Trials, I definitely enjoyed this book. It gave me an insight on how people reacted and what they decided to do about this practice of witchcraft. With such little evidence, it was interesting to see how people jumped to conclusions. 

Yes, I would recommend it. It's a coming of age story and it teaches the consequences of lying. If anyone is interested in the Salem Witch Trials, this novel is for you. 

Johanna, 16


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The Probability of Miracles

by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles is about Campbell, a girl who's days are numbered. Her mom, refusing to accept this inevitability, moves Campbell and her sister to a town in Maine where miracles have been known to happen. As Campell resigns herself to a quiet life and quieter death, her sister and mom encourage her to live her life to the fullest.

I loved The Probability of Miracles. It was hilarious and devastating at the same time. Probably one of the most honest portrayals of the human experience I've read.

I would recommend this book to older teens who love film references and sarcastic characters who are brutally honest. Fans of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars and Looking for Alaska would enjoy this book.

Amanda, 16


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Don't Even Think About It

by Sarah Mlynowski

This book follows the lives of one high school class, which develops telepathy by the administering of a faulty batch of flu shots. The class now has the ability to hear each other's thoughts, as well as the thoughts of everyone around them. They have to learn to work together, and learn how to handle their new powers.

This book was an interesting read, because I was able to follow all the points of view in one fluid perspective. The twists and turns throughout the book kept me guessing, and it was never boring to read.


This book is good for people who like interesting and quirky plot lines, as well as those readers who like reading about special powers. The book doesn't involve much action, as its focus is mostly on everyday settings.


Natalie, 14




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by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino, busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone. Inside her own head, but even that’s not safe. There’s something she’s trying not to think about. Something about the night of the party that, if she let’s it in, it would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak.

Speak is a book about depression. Depression is the unspoken theme that defines Melinda's behavior. I like how the book was well written.

I would recommend this book to everyone. This is such an important book for the he content and message it presents.

Yessica, 14


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The Wonder of All Things

by Jason Mott

The people of Stone Temple, North Carolina have only a matter of seconds to cope with a tragic plane crash before they are faced with an even more earth-shattering realization; Ava, the sheriff's daughter, has healed someone with nothing more than the touch of her hands. This book centers around the life of thirteen year-old Ava and those of the people close to her in Stone Temple as they deal with not only the tragedy of the crash, but the international spotlight brought on by the girl deemed a Miracle Child. Jason Mott's The Wonder of All Things is a book that deals with more than just the miracles that surround us.

This book includes a discussion on a wide variety of topics that most books fall short on even covering. Similar to all of those dystopian YA novels publishers are intent on mass producing, this book features a young, average girl that no one seems to think much of; until of course everyone makes her out to be a miracle-maker. Mott, however, does not make out his young protagonist to be the only readable character in this tale; her friends and family face many struggles that are deeply rooted in the past and surface in light of the more recent dilemma. Through all of this, we see a picture of people who face the same trials we all do; whether it's the lack of autonomy in youth, grief, or mental illness, this novel displays them in a way that many can relate to.

The Wonder of All Things is a book that begs to be read in one sitting; the story is intriguing, the relationships are realistic (even if the characters occasionally lack depth), and the message has an impact. For those who are interested in books that subtly question that meaning of humanity, this book is for you. 

Melina, 16


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13 Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

13 Reasons Why

Clay Jensen comes home to find a package addressed to him. In it, he finds casette tapes. When he plays the first one, he learns that they are recordings of Hannah Baker, a girl he had a crush on and who had recently committed suicide. Hannah states that there are 13 reasons why she decided to end her life and Clay is one of them.

13 Reasons Why is an excellent novel. It's a very disheartening story that conveys how much words and actions can affect people, no matter how seemingly insignificant and meaningless the actions may be. Jay Asher's novel, which is written exceptionally, is very haunting, somber, yet interesting and thought provoking.

I would definitely recommend 13 Reasons Why to teens. A myriad of kids these days suffer and witness bullying. Many would be able to relate with the adversities Hannah Baker faced. This story inspires people to act instead of be bystanders because doing nothing also has grave consequences. Although the story is very tragic, it leaves a positive impact on ones life.

CJ, 17


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Looking for Alaska

by John Green

Looking for AlaskaA teen boy named Miles starts to attend Culver Creek Boarding School in search for the great perhaps. He enjoys memorizing famous last words. He meets Alaska Young, the most gorgeous girl he has ever seen. Throughout the book, they have many great adventures.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was very surprised and shocked by the tragic event at the end. One of the reasons I liked this book was because the author used many influential sayings and quotes which makes readers really think about it.

I would recommend this book to teens who love reading teen fiction. This book also has mysteries in it. Readers will not be able to put this book down. This is another John Green book that will make you cry.

Alissa, 14


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Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

A plane crash leaves several young boys stranded on an island. Two of the boys, Ralph and Piggy, give rules to the rest to gather food, make shelters, and create signal fires. A third boy named Jack takes a different path and through the actions of these children. Lord of the Flies reveals the animal nature of humans that the author believes is true.

The novel is middle of the road for me. It contains several themes and ideas in a dangerous atmosphere. Being stranded on an island is dangerous enough but once you recall that all the characters in the book are young boys, the book becomes a lot darker and more suspenseful. Personally, I disliked that all of the characters are male, whereas if the story was told with females, I believe it would have been more interesting.

Chances are, the average teenager has read this novel. If not, I would be hesitant on a recommendation unless the reader wants a thought provoking novel with ideological sandboxes to dig into.

Jakob, 15


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