Why read about something that doesn’t have anything to do in real life? If this is a question you tend to ask yourself or your friends then you probably enjoy realistic fiction. This genre is very real like with relatable characters, factual settings and actual problems people may face in reality. The people who read this love to hear about people who overcome their hardships and turn what seems like adversity into their advantage. Most characters are very strong but have a very caring, kind side. This is one of the most popular genres, read to see why!
Quentin and Margo used to be best friends, living right across the street from each other in Florida the two would play at the park together. Nine years later, Quentin and Margo had gone their separate ways until one night when Margo sneaks into Quentin’s room asking for help in a revenge plot. After a night of pranks, vandalism and break ins, Margo has disappeared. Quentin is desperate to find her and with a few of his friends and a series of clues, he embarks on a journey that he will never forget.
What I Thought of Paper Towns
I usually am not a big fan of romance novels because I feel like they are repetitive and dull. However, I decided to keep an open-mind and take a chance on this book, and I’m glad I did. This is not your classic sappy romance novel; Paper Towns is a compelling read with its smart characters and fast-paced plot. But what really separates Paper Towns from other YA fiction is its message. This book leads you on a wild adventure but ends with a thoughtful finish, providing needed closure while also making you think.
The most memorable moment was, like many books are, at the end. John Green sets readers up for a dramatic ending but instead he ends the novel with a surprising plot-twist.
Max has always lied, but now it’s how he makes money. By selling fake permission slips and cover stories to his fellow classmates Max creates Liars Inc., and the cash starts flowing in. But when his friend Preston uses one of Max’s cover stories to visit a girl he meet online, Preston is never seen again. Preston is dead and all the evidence points to Max being the killer.
What I Thought of Liars Inc.
Most YA thrillers are boring, but not this one! This book will keep you up all night reading with a realistic protagonist and creative story. The fast-paced writing provides lots of suspense and a sense of urgency to solve the crime. Additionally, Max is clever and even funny at times. I recommend this novel to fans of The False Prince by Jennifer Neilsen or Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger.The most memorable part of Monsters of Men is the ending. Out of all the books I’ve read, I’ve never seen a more sensational ending.
The most memorable moment is when the reader finds out Preston is murdered. It was shocking and made the book much more engaging!
At 5 a.m. Sunday morning, Craig’s suicidal ideation gets him checked into Argenon Hospital. Craig is stressed out by his school’s intense academic pressure, his inability to fit in, and his crush on Nia, who’s dating his best friend. Initally, Craig feels like he shouldn’t be in the psychiatric hospital, but as he meets some other patients just like him, he may be able to finally confront his depression.
What I Thought of It’s Kind of a Funny Story
The synopsis this book gives doesn’t sound very funny but believe me, if you take a chance on this book you won’t regret it! With lots of humor, a great message and interesting story I absolutely enjoyed this novel. The best part of It’s Kind of a Funny Story is the humor. Lighthearted and witty, I found myself laughing quite often. Because it’s such a sad concept, the humor really lifted up the story. The plot in this book is also fantastic. It’s realistic, original and well-done. The author was actually hospitalized briefly for depression himself, so he was able to connect with those of the same problems, and educate the rest of the public. This is why It’s Kind of a Funny Story provides such a great message. It teaches us that mental illness is no ones fault and it’s a curable problem with the right help and support. So if you are looking for a new wonderful read, It’s Kind of a Funny Story will surely satisfy you.
The end is the best part of It’s Kind of a Funny Story. It’s heartfelt and I’m glad it concluded the way it did.
Susan Caraway is a new student at Mica Area High School. But she’s not your average new kid, she calls herself Stargirl and her behavior is unusual to say the least. Stargirl doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her, she dresses in quirky clothes, she cheers for both teams at sporting events, she attends stranger’s funerals and even sings “Happy Birthday” to complete strangers. But even though she’s a bit eccentric, Leo can see that underneath all the weird, Stargirl has a big heart and her bravery may end up being a blessing in disguise.
What I Thought of Stargirl
Stargirl had a lot of potential, there’s a noteworthy theme, seemingly intriguing characters and a little bit of romance in the mix but, sadly, Stargirl does not live up to the hype for two reasons. One, there was no resolution. Throughout the book the storyline was all over the place. It was hard to follow, sometimes random and extremely predictable. It felt like the author was mashing his ideas and clichés into the book one after the other as he thought of them, and it was no different at the end. All of a sudden, Stargirl was just gone. In my opinion, this is not a proper way to end a novel, and it made me feel like the only reason why anything changed at the school was because she left, not because she was there. Secondly, I didn’t like Stargirl. She was supposed to be unconditionally kind and generous but to me she seemed inconsiderate. She did not ask anyone about what they wanted, she just assumed they would like whatever it was she would give them or do for them. Additionally, the other characters in Stargirl had little to no depth whatsoever. Everyone except Leo was a mindless robot who conformed just for the sake of conforming. Taking note of all of this, I strongly dislike this novel and I don’t recommend it to anyone.
The end is the most memorable moment in Stargirl is when Stargirl is on Leo’s show “Hot Seat”. It was by far the most eventful part of the book.
Ponyboy Curtis is an outsider. He and his two brothers, Sodapop and Darry live without parents in the poor side of town. Known as “Greasers” they rival with “Socs”, the west-side rich kids who beat up Ponyboy and his friend, Johnny. When Ponyboy and his friend Johnny are outnumbered in the park by the “Socs”, Johnny panics and kills one of the “Socs”. Now Johnny and Ponyboy are on the run and the police are after them for murder. Even though it was self-defense, who will believe them when all the stereotypes are weighing against them?
What I Thought of The Outsiders
There’s a reason why this novel is viewed as a YA classic by critics and teens alike. The Outsiders is a suspenseful, appealing read with notable themes and lovable characters. Usually, I don’t like the summer reading books that my county provides but this book wasn’t like the rest. Instead of being dull and childish, The Outsiders was action-packed and thoughtful. It gives a realistic interpretation of gang activity in the 1960’s and showed me how I shouldn’t judge people based on status or wealth. In addition, I loved the characters who were smart, kind and tough. All in all, the Outsiders, with all it has to teach us about stereotypes and kindness, is an impressive read that deserves it’s critical acclaim.
The most memorable moment in this novel is when Ponyboy and Johnny save the little kids from the burning church. It was heroic, and showed both Ponyboy and Johnny’s true character and selflessness.
Sonny lies about everything. That’s all she’s ever known. Whether it’s about her dad being in prison, or the reason her mom kicked her out, Sonny struggles to tell the truth as she’s afraid of what others will think. Her friend Amy is the only person Sonny tells everything to honestly. They even share a nemesis Ryder who ironically likes Amy. And when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, Sonny sees the perfect prank opportunity. Except as they talk Sonny realizes that she might actually like Ryder. But here’s the catch, Ryder thinks he was talking to Amy. Sonny is once again caught in an elaborate lie, and now she’s starting to regret it.
What I Thought of Lying Out Loud
At times, it’s good to have your expectations broken, but not for Lying Out Loud. With The Duff being such a great novel, I thought Lying Out Loud would have more of the same great characters and creative concept. Instead, however, I got an exasperating main character and an uneventful plot. I’ll admit, I did enjoy aspects of the concept in Lying Out Loud but nothing close to what I had anticipated. This was disappointing to me and I almost didn’t read the whole book! To tell the truth, (pun unintended) the book was dull, predictable and really nothing happened. To put it lightly, this was a very hard book to enjoy. So why did I even give this book three stars? Well, like I said earlier I liked the concept of a compulsive liar being the lead role. Kody Keplinger has some great ideas, but the execution in this book was poor. On the other hand, I do hope Kody Keplinger won’t be a one-hit wonder, and I’ll surely read another one of her books.
A memorable moment in Lying Out Loud was when Sonny was confronted by Amy’s parents. It’s one of the best scenes in the novel!
Melinda Sordino is entering her freshman year of high school with a horrible secret. Her friends think that she called the police just to crash their party, causing everyone to socially reject her. But little do they know that’s not all there is to it. Depressed and alone, Melinda’s only comfort is art class where she may finally face what happened to her and speak up for herself.
What I Thought of Speak
Laurie Halse Anderson is truly the master of realistic fiction. Speak is a thoughtful book that tackles real issues that usually aren’t covered in young adult novels. There’s great writing, a heroic female protagonist and a conflict that many can relate to and even more need to know about. Laurie Halse Anderson writes fluently and smoothly with structure and the perfect amount of drama. She knows her audience, and writes with purpose and voice, therefore enhancing the novel. The way she crafted Melinda is equally well-done as she is relatable but also becomes a role model later in the novel. Depression, social rejection, bullying and assault are all themes in Speak that reach out to those who are struggling and educate those who aren’t. It makes you realize how you can’t judge people because you haven’t been in their shoes, which is an important lesson for all teens and tweens. In conclusion, Speak is a worthwhile and timeless read that you are bound to enjoy.
The most memorable part of Speak is when we learn Melinda’s secret. It’s shocking, realistic and dramatic all rolled into one.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Hayley’s father has been attempting for five years to escape his memories of Iraq. He’s been on the road with Hayley, traveling from town to town, struggling to block out his inner demons. After coming up fruitless time and time again, finally the father-daughter duo is settling down in Hayley’s father’s hometown. Haley finally has the chance to live an ordinary life; go to school, make new friends maybe even have a boyfriend! But with Hayley’s own painful memories and her father’s PTSD pushing him to the edge, being normal seems impossible.
What I Thought of The Impossible Knife of Memory
The Impossible Knife of Memory contains some great qualities, but one characteristic of this novel takes my review from five stars to four. In this book, Laurie Halse Anderson creates a gripping, relatable novel about trauma and recovery but unlike her other books, such as Speak, The Impossible Knife of Memory lacked my emotional connection. Before delving in to why I was so unemotional about this novel, I’ll explain what I enjoyed first. Most of all, I liked how this book focused mainly on PTSD but not solely. Almost every character had their own dilemmas, each distinctive and each tied in well. For instance, Hayley’s best friend’s family was falling apart as her parents divorced, and Finn had problems that aren’t revealed until the end. This makes The Impossible Knife of Memory relatable on three fields rather than one. Finn’s secrets are another component I enjoyed about this book, that and Hayley’s father unpredictability kept me intrigued throughout the novel. Additionally, even with this heavy topic, there’s plenty of entertaining humor! So what didn’t I like? As I said earlier, in books like Speak I felt like the book was pulling on my heart’s strings, but this was not the case for The Impossible Knife of Memory. We never learned enough about Hayley’s dad for us readers to be able to really grow attached to his character, especially since his backstory about his time in Iraq/Afghanistan is somewhat of a mystery. On the other hand, I did enjoy The Impossible Knife of Memory and recommend it to any fan of Laurie Halse Anderson or contemporary fiction. But if you are looking for a heart-wrenching novel about PTSD this may not be the book for you.
A memorable part in The Impossible Knife of Memory is when Hayley is describing other people as either “freaks” or “zombies”. I thought this described Hayley’s unique voice and character very well in only a few sentences.
Steven Harmon is in jail. He’s doing his best to cope with being thrown in there until his trial for murder. If things don’t go well, he might end up with a permanent cell and no chance of making it back to the world he used to know. Steven Harmon is sixteen years old.
What I Thought of Monster
I absolutely devoured this book, reading it all in one day and practically in one sitting. This is probably because Monster is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. In an odd yet brilliant way, it’s a movie within a book within a court transcript. It tells a captivating story with a writing style unlike any other. In addition, it has understandable and relatable characters. It is amazing that the author was able to convey clear characterization through just trial Q & A’s.
In fact, reading Monster was like being a jury on this case, and that’s the best part about it. Each reader has the liberty to make their own decision about who they think is guilty and who should be charged with what. Never has a book allowed me to disagree with the main character, but Monster offers that and more. Of course, I wanted the best for the protagonist Steve, but I also got to think critically about the evidence for and against him and form my own opinion on the situation. This novel is truly one of a kind. Monster is a quick and incredibly rewarding read for anyone who enjoys mystery or realistic fiction, and gets a great 4.5 star rating from me.
The most memorable part of this book are the final statements from each side of the case. I thought they were very powerful and equally strong, and they certainly left a lasting impression on me. These statements summed up the book and the case perfectly, which is why they were my favorite part of Monster.
Greg Gaines does not believe in best friends. As a high school senior, he has finally found a way to fit in with every friend group. That is, until his old friend Rachel Kushner comes back into the picture and gets cancer. Greg’s senior year begins to
look a bit less fun.
What I Thought of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl
This book was a pretty big disappointment to me. I was immediately intrigued by the summary, as I typically love humorous books about serious topics, Drum, Girls, and Dangerous Pie being a fantastic example. However, I think the author totally flopped on that concept. I think that this book was meant to be funny in the way that the main character Greg was supposed to be laughably bad in certain social situations, but to me he seemed more like an insensitive jerk than an awkward but nice boy. To be fair, it was made very clear that Me and Earl and The Dying Girl wasn’t going to be a powerful friendship or romance book, but some of the things written are still ridiculously rude. It’s hard to understand how Greg felt the need to describe in detail how disgusting he found Rachel’s post-chemo baldness to be and how awfully obnoxious her laugh was. For some reason, a character harshly judging a dying girl isn’t all that amusing to me. Additionally, the other characters weren’t all that great either. I did like Earl in some ways, but his excessive swearing got annoying after a while. Rachel seemed a bit boring, but at the same time Greg clearly didn’t care about her so he probably didn’t give her personality a very good description. Lastly, Greg was simply awful. He was so caught up worrying about what other people thought of his films that he forgot that they were about a terminally ill friend of his. Although I can relate to the embarrassment he felt when Earl and his work was shared, I could not sympathize with such a selfish character. Overall, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was definitely not funny, fairly boring, and had a main character that I hated with passion. However, I have a very specific sense of humor, so I can’t say that nobody will enjoy this book. Therefore, I grant it a 2.5 star rating.
The most memorable part of this book is when Earl stands up to Greg and shows him how badly he is treating Rachel. I gained a lot of respect for the foul-mouthed Earl for this, making it my favorite moment.