Number of Books Read: 13
2015 YTD: 53
Pages Read April 2015: 3795
Print Books: 7
Diversity Challenge Update
YA Fiction: 2
Popular Nonfiction: 3
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
*(first third 3/5, final third, 1/5)
In what might be the first time ever, I did a 360 in my feelings for this book AFTER I started writing my review. I sat down to read Belzhar and had to stop two chapters in to write up my (gushingly positive) thoughts.
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Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Scott Westerfeld is my go-to choice for teens who are reluctant to read. He writes books that appeal to fantasy fans, girls, boys, straight and gay. His Uglies series has been a favorite of mine since high school and since discovering Leviathan I have recommended it to everyone I know. But even if he didn’t have an amazing track record of books that appeal to a large audience, I would be shouting my praises of Afterworlds from the rooftops.
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
When I was in middle school, I loved all of the Lurlene McDaniels books. You’d think reading about teenagers battling cancer would be depressing but somehow she managed to make her stories about love and life. I mention this because John Green’s book is nothing like Lurlene’s, and thus is overwhelmingly depressing. Cancer becomes as much of a character as Hazel and Augustus as you get an intimate glimpse at the life of teenage patients.
Hazel and Augustus meet at a cancer support group. They fall in love while Hazel undergoes treatment. Their whole relationship revolves around their illness, but somehow that’s okay too. Green’s story is so realistic you almost forget that he’s writing a YA novel, which is kind of the point. He doesn’t minimize the teens’ emotions, nor does he make them into an overblown soap opera. He just lets them be.
Just like Hazel and Augustus would want.
My idyllic little college got a lot of love from a pretty famous alum a few days ago and I thought I’d share it with you. John Green is the latest in a long line of creative Kenyon folks: Robert Lowell, Laura Hillenbrand, James Wright, Caleb Carr, E. L. Doctorow, Alison Janney, Paul Newman, Josh Radnor, Rutherford B. Hayes, Jim Borgman, and Bill Watterson, to name a few. Though the list itself is awe-inspiring, it’s even more shocking once you realize that Kenyon graduates a mere 450 students every spring.
Green says it best: “In short I know that nostalgia is in the business of twisting memories into lies and that there are lots of great colleges and universities but let’s face it: Kenyon is the best one.”