Eleanor & Park

Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park is a story about two people — a girl named Eleanor who is a little chubbier than the rest of the girls at her school and dresses funny as if she’s searching for attention. Park is a normal kid who has normal classes and a normal family, so the last thing he wants is Eleanor, the chubby girl who stares at him, to ruin this. Park and Eleanor go to school on the same bus, and start to bond over comics and music. Eleanor and Park learn things about each other that they never knew and tackle things like abuse and self recognition together. A story about how even two of the most separate and opposites of people can become close if they keep an open mind.

I personally thought this book was enjoyable but it had an awkward elevation by the middle. It started as if they hated each other and all of a sudden they unrealistically became crazy about each other. I didn’t enjoy that because it wasn’t very relatable; it was a good way to show how people sometimes can just click, but to me, it felt like it was forced and not a normal transition. There were some parts I really loved and some I just couldn’t handle. I have mixed feelings about this book but at the end of the day it was not bad. I had a good time reading it and I loved reading about Eleanor’s life because it made me realize that you don’t always know what’s happening in peoples lives and why they act they way that they do or dress in the way they do. It taught me to never be judgmental because nothing good comes from judgment. – Fatima S.

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The Infinite Moment of Us

Lauren Myracle

A true love story of being broken and finding yourself. Even when you try to run away from your life, you are always brought back to reality. The Infinite Moment of Us tells the story from alternating perspectives of Wren, who has never made decisions for herself, and Charlie, who has lived a tough past. They find each other when they are both lost, and though they may lose each other along the way, they will but always know where home is.

The story is about love, and home, with wonderful writing. It is a coming of age novel of innocence and taking a leap of faith to find yourself even if everything might not go as once planned. The two grew up in different ways with different types of parents — some overprotective and others not caring at all. The characters have morals and things they do on instinct; romance laced with jealousy and the fact of feeling broken. Also, when Wren starts to make decisions for herself and rebels against any rules, her parents are distraught.

One part I disliked was that a bunch of the book was graphical in the its descriptions, so it is for older mature teen audiences. I would recommend for those who like the genre. If you overlook that, the story plot was better than most romance novels, which focus mostly on the drama factor. The setting and places this book tells about are unknown to the reader as the author never describes it and when she does it is very vague. A fast read, however, it is an intense love story and not a book for everyone. Overall a good book, and I wish it had a sequel or something to continue the story. – Zoe P.

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The Locket

Stacey Jay

Katie is more than devoted to her boyfriend of three years, Isaac. She attends all his basketball games, plans their future together, and doesn’t ask for much in return. The one time Katie requires his attendance and support, he misses her performance as the lead role in the musical. Her disappointment and a minor alcohol influence cause her to cheat on Isaac with their childhood friend, Mitch. She regrets her mistake as fast as it happens and would do anything for a second chance. When she discovers her grandmother’s locket, it gives her the opportunity to go back in time! As Katie finds herself back at the night she cheated on Isaac, she learns quickly that there are serious consequences for changing the past and that perhaps the locket does more damage than good.

Stacey Jay’s vivid writing style keeps readers engaged without a hint of boredom creeping in. Suspense is successfully applied throughout since the world suffers a variety of changes every time Katie utilizes the locket and goes back in time. This causes the reader to be on edge, continuously flipping pages in order to see the aftermath of Katie’s repetitive interference with fate. This teaches readers that all actions have consequences.

Most characters are strong, dynamic, and do not simply just revolve around the main character. For instance, Mitch is not implemented for the convenience of a love triangle. He has goals and ambitions that have no correlation with Katie. There is the exception of a few characters that seem stereotypical and lack any originality such as Rachel Pruitt. She plays the distinct role of the mean girl and doesn’t have much more complexity. A more elaborate and interesting element could have been established if all the changes that occurred in Katie’s do-over life were directly linked to her going back in time. Some of the changes such as the homecoming week theme being different the second time seem totally unrelated to the part of the past she deliberately changed. The Locket has an intricate plot and makes use of a number of literary devices making it a great book to invest time in reading. – Julia K.

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