Reality Boy by A.S. King

Reality Boy Book CoverReality Boy by A.S. King is a classic YA read. It features Gerard Faust, a 16 year old teen who was featured on a reality TV show his entire childhood. The trauma from the TV show has caused him deep emotional problems, and created a complex set of problems.

Reality Boy features a less than believable love story, which borders on an abusive relationship. The plot is slightly unbelievable, and the characterization is sometimes cheap. Overall, there is a growth between characters, which is most impressive in such an underwhelming novel. I recommend it as a fun read, but don’t except any profound feelings after reading this novel.

K.Ferguson, 2014

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and ParkEleanor and Park was written by Rainbow Rowell. It is a classic love story, featuring punk rock music, race relations, and teen angst.

This novel is possibly one of my favorite YA books. Ranked right below The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Eleanor and Park will make you cry. Their relationship is so pure and identifiable, its like an ACTUAL TEEN wrote it! Instead of a simplification of teen love, Rowell shows how a teen romance can be just as important as an adult romance. This novel make me nostalgic, depressed and hopeful all at once. It’s hilarious, true, and a perfect read. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

 

K.Ferguson, 2014

Tim Tebow; Through My Eyes: A Quarterbacks Journey, by Nathan Whitakers

It has been said that Tim Tebow is one of the greatest football players ever. Tim Tebow believe it or not was not even supposed to be born. The doctors thought that there would have to be an abortion. Instead the family prayed through the pregnancy and thank god they did, because look who came out, one of the greatest athletes of all time. It all started at a young age, when Tim Tebow as a kid played every single sport you could imagine. But all along his best sport was Football. Even from a young age Tim was very competitive and strived to be the best that he could be. Tim Tebow is looked at as one of the best college football players ever. Tebow had played his college football at Florida University, one of the better college football programs. Tebow started his college career as the backup. That didn’t stop him. The next year he ended up being the starting quarterback and broke some records, most rushing yards by a Florida quarterback, and most rushing touchdowns in one season, single game rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns throughout the year. It didn’t stop there. His next year he ends up beating out Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and ends up winning the Heisman Trophy which goes to the best college football player. In 2009 his senior year he wasn’t as much of a passer, but that year he had the most rushing yards of any year throughout his college career. Then it was off to the NFL. Tebow was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 2010 NFL draft with the 25th overall pick. After a 1-4 start under quarterback Kyle Orton, Denver decided to make a move and start Tebow. Tebow was leading his team like no other. One of the more famous wins came against the New York Jets when he had led his team with a 95 yard game winning drive. The Broncos ended up making it to the playoffs under Tebow, but losing in the conference championship game to the Patriots. This book isn’t just about sports. Tebow, being very religious, started every single chapter in the book with a verse from the bible. Tebow off the field does most of his charity work in the Philippines. He helps the people there that are less fortunate and don’t have as many things as we do. He would talk to hundreds of kids at a time telling them his story. Tebow’s next goal is to raise enough money to build a hospital in the Philippines. I really like this book. It really shows you what Tim Tebow did to get where he is today. He didn’t have it handed to him. He was always working hard and was very determined to be at his best all the time. This clearly shows that Tebow is just about sports. To him it is also about helping the needy and the poor who are less fortunate. I highly recommend this book to kids who are fans of Tebow, to see how he got where he is today. It proves to kids that things aren’t just given to you. You have to work hard and practice and then you will get rewarded.

Rating: 4 Stars

(By MNardone 2012)

 

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls” is about the captivating life of a boy named Conor O’Malley. Conor, from the outside, appears to live a normal teen life but unknown to those on the outside Conor’s life is anything but normal. Conor is a 13 year old who lives with his mother who has cancer and a father who has abandoned him. This young boy does all the work for himself in the house which includes cooking, cleaning the house, and his own clothes. Although that may seem bad enough, everyday this 13 year old boy has a nightmare and each time it has the same theme, fear. At the same time of 12:07 this yew tree appears to Conor as a spirit and will, every night, tell Conor a story about life but no matter what these stores never had a happy ending. As you go more in to the story the goal of this “spirit” becomes clear. The sketches in the book also brought out more details and became more vivid with every turn of the page. This book was very interesting to read and brought out a supernatural side of life. The book showed how strong fear is and its effect on people’s actions and way of life. “A Monster Calls” is a book which anyone of any age can read although the story is made around spirits and nightmares; the book is able to bring in many of types of readers. If I had to rate this book I would rate it a 5 out of 5. I gave this book this rating because it was well written and each character in the book had their own separate back stories even if they weren’t major characters. The book was able to bring different points across from everyday life while still showing a different more supernatural side to it. I would highly recommend this book to all those in search of a book with vivid detail, epic story, captivating stories that will make you think twice about life.

Rating: 5 stars

(By V.Monge 2012)

 

The Road, By Cormac McCarthy

For my independent reading book I chose to read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I was really excited to read this book after first reading the cover slip because the tiny summary made it sound really good plus it is one of the books that Oprah recommended for her book club. I was also interested due to my fascination of survival and apocalyptic type books. While first reading I was surprised at the difference between this and all other books I’ve read because it never told you the boy or the man’s name. Also the lack of quotations kind of threw me off. The beginning of the book starts off sort of slow but by the end I was very pleased with the book.

The book starts off with the man and the boy in the woods, the boy was asleep while the man sat keeping watch over him. Though we don’t know the man or the boy’s name we know the man is the boy’s father because he calls him “Papa.” There is no mention of what year it is but we are told that they are somewhere in America and have to assume it’s around winter time because it is snowing and that it is always freezing. The book also mentions the fact the snow falls grey and the sky is always dark which I would think is to tell you that there was some sort of war which ravaged the place and left debris forever covering the sky. As the boy wakes up they clean up their sleeping area and got ready to continue their journey to the south to hopefully find a new life. As they walk the man always keeps his pistol near him though there are only two bullets and he promised himself and his son if they were ever captured by the “bad guys” he would shoot and kill the son so he would not have to go through the pain of being eaten alive or tortured. But at some point in the book a “bad guy” tried kidnapping the boy and the man then shot the guy in the head. Now he was left with only one bullet he was suppose to use for his son. They make it out safe but end up running into more trouble soon after when they run out of food and go looking for supplies. They started searching houses to look for anything of use. Instead they discover something extremely terrifying. As they went into the basement of one house they discovered people chained up being used as live food for some of the bad guys. After finding this they were scared out of the house and while on the run out they were almost seen by the bad guys living there. After running away they later on found a bomb shelter full of food. They were then able to eat as much as they wanted and also restocked there supplies. After eating all they could they left because if someone passed by and saw them they would have been dead meat. They continue on to the coast and when they get there they don’t find what they were looking for. Instead of a better life it was almost exactly like where they started. Though they eventually find a boat of food and supplies. But as they did earlier in the book they also leave from the boat for the same fear being found by some bad guys. As they walked through a town to hopefully find civilization the man is shot by an arrow in the knee and is severally injured. I will not tell you the ending of the book but if you read this it is a very emotional scene that plays out in end.

I would recommend this book to people who like to read about the hardships people face while trying to survive or someone who has an interest with apocalyptic style books. It was very interesting and at times got emotional. Though it was boring in the beginning you will eventually be stuck reading this book till you find out what happens. I would also give this book 3.8 out of 5 due to the fact that it is a different type of reading style and that the beginning was a bit boring. Besides the few complaints I hope that people would enjoy this book as much as I have.

Rating: 3.8 stars

(By PMiley 2012)