A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini

Plot Summary:

Mariam grew up as the shielded from the world as the illegitimate child of a wealthy Afghan business man. Her mother was always bitter, and through her hatred for Mariam’s father, she pushed Mariam away. Mariam will face many challenges to gain her fathers attention and acceptance, however it will result in her being sent thousands of miles away to Kabul, in a marriage with a man she has never met, who is 30 years her elder. Mariam struggles to adapt in this marriage, where she becomes the shell of the person she once was, as her patriarchal husband makes her life painful and miserable. Then, there is Laila, she grew up across the street from Mariam and her husband, Rasheed. She lived a normal life in her liberal household, until war waged down on her family, resulting in her losing everything from her best friends, her boyfriend, and her family. In an effort to save her life from the suffocating laws placed on women, she marries Rasheed, and becomes his second wife. Mariam and Laila form a bond through their connected misery, and try there best to navigate this horrible world where bombs are constantly being dropped, and the whip is constantly cracking down on them from their husband. But what will happen when someone from Laila’s past changes everything, and gives her the chance to leave her horrid life behind, and start fresh? What will happen when Mariam finally lets go, and stops letting her husband’s hatred ruin her life?

What did you think about the book?:

This book leaves you wanting for more. Not only does it take you through some of the most infamous moments in history, it also shows you how the people struggled in Afghanistan during the time of the Soviet occupation as well as the overtaking of the Taliban. My emotions were running wild as I hurt for the two main female protagonists as they suffered through many losses and defeats. My favorite part of the book was the ending, when Laila and her past boyfriend, Tariq, started their new life together, and were able to live in a peaceful Afghanistan with their children, finally happy. My least favorite part was when Mariam and Laila tried to run away from Rasheed, but when they are caught, they were severely punished. I was so worried the whole time that one of them would die!
Felix Ever After
Author: Kacen Callender

Plot Summary:

The main character is Felix Love. He is a transgender boy in New York. He has a best friend named Ezra. The two are inseparable. The book talks about their lives and struggles. But the main focus of the book, is Felix's journey. He is struggling with his gender identity, love life, and confidence. "Felix Ever After" is beautiful story on gender identity, love, and the LGBT+ community.

What did you think about the book?:

I feel the best part of the book was when Felix found out what his gender identity was. It was super relatable to how teens today figure things out. I liked Felix. He was a super relatable character. Felix had a beautiful story and character arc. My least favorite part of the book was the ending. I wanted Felix to have one last conversation with Declan and Marisol. Or have some kind of closure with those characters.
The Lost Wife
Author: Alyson Richman

Plot Summary:

The lost of a husband or wife is something you carry through your whole life. Especially when you believe that they were lost to you at the hands of the Germans. In this WWII love story, two young people in love must overcome the challenges of being Jewish during the awful period of the Holocaust. Although Lenka and Josef were only married for a few weeks before they were separated, they held onto their love for each other for decades. These two would both experience the war very differently, but still suffer all the same. While Lenka was bounced around concentration camps losing friends and family, believing her husband had died in a torpedo attack, he was really in America. Josef had started a whole new life believing that his wife Lenka was most likely dead from being sent to an extermination camp. But in a twist of fate, these two old flames would find each other once more in the most unexpected place.

What did you think about the book?:

This book was very enjoyable, but didn’t focus on the togetherness and interconnectedness of the two main protagonists as much as I would have liked. While the plot and the story itself was extremely well written and reflected horrors of the Holocaust appropriately, it felt that I was reading a story from two very different perspectives of people who had suffered lost in the war. This made the final ending of the story very anticlimactic since the two had only been together for so little time, and both had moved on with other people.

Flamer
Author: Mike Curato

Plot Summary:

The story takes place at a summer camp in 1995. The main character is named "Aiden". He is 13 and trying to learn how to fit in with all the other boys. Aiden becomes panicked when a certain boy makes his heart beat faster. The book surrounds a young kid who is figuring out how to accept himself. He is struggling with loving his body, his life at home, and his sexuality. A beautifully written book about how young kids need to make sure they love everything that makes them unique.

What did you think about the book?:

The best part of the book was when Aiden overcame his dark thoughts. It was written so beautifully and emotionally. It sent a great message to teens that their lives have value. I really enjoyed the main character Aiden because I see a lot of myself in him. The only con about this book that I have is that I wish it was longer. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this book. I feel like Aiden's story has so much more to be told.
As Good As Dead
Author: Holly Jackson

Plot Summary:

The book surrounds the main character Pip Amobi-Fitz. The story takes off from Pip dealing with PTSD after solving two murder cases back to back. She has been having trouble sleeping and getting the murder of her last case out of her head. As the story progresses, Pip feels she has a stalker. She feels finding this stalker, will cure all her issues. We come to find out every case she has solved is connected.

What did you think about the book?:

I really disliked the direction the author took with this book. I am not a fan of unhappy/unfinished endings. I feel this amazing trilogy deserved so much better. To improve, the author should have chosen a different route for the story. I would not suggest it to a friend because from the middle to the end of the book, it gets dragged. When you finish the book, you will ask yourself, "Was reading all those pages worth that ending?"
Girl, Interrupted
Author: Susanna Kaysen

Plot Summary:

In this book, it focuses on the author named Susanna Kaysen. In this book, she is 18 years old. She was admitted into a hospital in Massachusetts called McLean Hospital, and she was admitted because she had attempted suicide. Susanna Kaysen stayed in the hospital from April 27th, 1967, to September 1968. Susanna Kaysen suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, and she was getting mental health for it. Throughout the book, a decent amount of characters were introduced. Some of those characters include Georgina, Lisa, Polly, and Cynthia. Although they all have different mental issues, they all related to each other somehow. Throughout the book, Susanna Kaysen talks about her experiences at the mental hospital. She does not only talk about herself, she also talks about the experiences of other people. Georgina suffers from Schizophrenia, Lisa is a sociopath, Cynthia suffers from depression, and Polly also suffers from Schizophrenia. Georgina is known for being Susanna Kaysen’s roommate, Cynthia is known for always crying after shock therapy, Lisa is known for running away, and Polly is known for lighting herself on fire. Kaysen also talks about the workers there, like Valerie and Dr. Wick. The girls like Valerie because she is the only nurse who they could trust in McLean Hospital. Most of the memoir takes place at McLean Hospital, but towards the end of the book took place in Harvard Square.

What did you think about the book?:

In general, I thought this book was absolutely phenomenal. I think this book was absolutely phenomenal because it accurately portrays mental disorders, and I loved the characters in the book. I think Susanna Kaysen portrays mental disorders, such as Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder extremely well. I feel like I could relate to Lisa because she is compassionate, and she just wants to feel free. This book also made me feel safe because there are other people in this world who suffer from mental disorders. This includes Susanna Kaysen, Lisa, Georgina, Cynthia, and Polly. My favorite part of this book was the part where Susanna reunited with Lisa at the end of the book. This was my favorite part of the book because Lisa looked so happy to see Susanna, and it looked like her life was getting better by the day. This was also my favorite part of the book because both Susanna and Lisa looked so free. This part of the book made me happy. My least favorite part of this book was when Torrey was sent back to Mexico. It was my least favorite part of the book because Torrey did not want to go back to Mexico after being in Massachusetts. The fact that all of the patients and the nurses cared about Torrey made this part even more upsetting. I think Torrey deserved better in this book, so this was my least favorite part.
They Both Die At The End
Author: Adam Silvera

Plot Summary:

This book follows Mateo, a shy and anxious homebody, and Rufus, a "bad boy" orphan who lost his parents in a car crash, on their day of death. In this society, something called "deathcast" was created which notifies people on the day that they are going to die, and subsequently an app called "Last Friend" was created in order to give dying people one last friend to get them through their day. Rufus and Mateo met on this app, as they both found out that they were dying on the same day. The novel shows them during their adventures and their goodbyes, showing them getting closer and closer over the course of only one day. Soon enough, Mateo gets the courage to kiss Rufus, and after some drama with Rufus' gang, they go back to Mateo's house and relax in each others arms. However, they couldn't beat the reliability of Death Cast, and Mateo gets burned alive by a kitchen fire. Rufus, distraught over Mateo's death, walks into the street without looking, and without a hand to hold him back. Although never fully explained, this suggests that Rufus got hit by a car.

What did you think about the book?:

I think my favorite thing about the book is the different points of view and how they all connect. The POV switches from Rufus to Mateo to Rufus' friends to Mateo's friends and even to people Rufus and Mateo have barely interacted with. It was really interesting to see how the people that seem random and insignificant actually have a huge effect on the story -- like Howie, Delilah, and Andrea. My least favorite part of the book was probably the suddenness of the romance between Mateo and Rufus. I understand that they only had a day to get to know each other, but I feel like the actual chemistry between them that should have been the buildup for their kiss was really lacking. Mateo barely mentioned anything about being interested in Rufus and he never once hinted at his sexuality until the kiss. I think Rufus' buildup was better, as it was mentioned that he was bisexual and he did have moments of attraction towards Mateo, but still overall lacking.
The Hawthorne Legacy
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Plot Summary:

Avery Kylie Grambs inherited billions in a will from a man she had never met. After solving his first mystery that he left behind for her and his grandkids, the Hawthornes, they must move onto the next mystery he left for them to solve; find his supposedly dead son, Tobias Hawthorne. As the search begins for Toby, Avery will encounter many roadblocks, such as those who don't want Toby to be found, and other's who want to scare Avery out of her inheritance. Not only that, tensions are high between her and the two of the four Hawthorne brothers, Jameson and Grayson, as she tries to decide which one her heart desires more. Not only will Avery solve the mystery of the missing Hawthorne, she will also discover the mystery of her past, something she has been trying to decipher since her mother's death.

What did you think about the book?:

This book was amazing! I couldn't put it down! My least favorite part was when we find out that while Tobias is a father figure in Avery's life, he is not in fact her biological father. I feel it hindered the plot slightly, since it would've tied everything in a nicer bow if they were related; it made the whole adoption plot line discovery slightly less significant. When we find out Toby isn't truly a Hawthorne, there is an elated feeling that Avery then must be related to him and thats why she was left the inheritance. Once I discovered that wasn't the case, I was slightly disappointed that he wasn't her true father. My favorite part of this book was the entire mystery behind it. Barnes does an amazing job of keeping you on your toes the entire story, and causing you to want to read more. Every corner there is a new twist which adds to the overall plot of this piece. If I had to choose the best part of this story, it would have to be when Avery and the rest of the Hawthorne family take a trip to the ski house up in Colorado. It was a scene with amazing imagery, and was a pivotal point in the story to move the plot forward.
We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour

Plot Summary:

The main character is named Marin. She was born and raised in California but runs off to New York after something tragic occurs. The book starts off in Winter break. Since she ran off, she hasn’t made any contact with her friends in California. Resulting in her not having anywhere to go to for break. So her college allows her to stay at the dorms during break. Her old friend Mabel says she going to come visit her for break. This makes Marin nervous because she did not even say good to Mabel when she left. As the book continues all the secrets and trauma unravels.

What did you think about the book?:

My favorite part was during a flashback when Mabel and Marin kiss and have a sweet love scene. I actually don’t have a least favorite part of this book but, the reason I gave it two stars was because after reading it I was very underwhelmed.
"The Selection"
Author: Kiera Cass

Plot Summary:

America Singer is chosen to be a part of The Selection, a competition, in which 35 girls who are of age are picked to win the prince's heart and become his wife. With the country divided by castes, the girls have another reason to be divided as the girls of more superior castes look down upon those of less superior castes. With America's heart belonging to another, she is unhappy about being thrust into this competition. Who will Maxon Shreave, prince of Illéa, select to be his wife, the princess and future queen of the nation? While America must determine whether she wants to abandon a chance for her family to have everything they ever wanted, or follow the path she originally believed in - with another. Through discovering unlikely friends, and running for her life, America is in for a whirlwind of unlikely events all just from getting picked for The Selection.

What did you think about the book?:

This book has romantic, happy, hopeful parts as well as sad and thrilling parts. This book will always leave you wanting more, dying to read on. It will bring out all the emotions as you read about a prince looking for his spouse whom he can love and trust to run the country and as you find out the truth behind the royal family and Illéa.