My Beating Teenage Heart
I was looking at a list of Young Adult books that the library had just gotten, and I noticed this: My Beating Teenage Heart by C. K. Kelly Martin. After reading teen romance novel after teen romance novel, I was in search for something different. This looked pretty interesting; and I thought, why not?
Ashlyn knows nothing about herself; all she knows is for some reason she feels as if she’s in a never-ending dream watching over Brecken, a random teenage guy. Ashlyn watches as Breacken copes with the death of his little sister. She’s sees the immense grief he is feeling, but is not able to do anything to help him. As the book progresses, Ashlyn learns more about herself and how she can help Brecken.
This books takes you on a path from confusion to sorrow to happiness and everything in between. There is no room for boredom as want to keep reading without ever putting it down.
On a scale of 0 to 5, I would give it a 4. It’s an amazing book, but I have read other Young Adult novels that are better (Hunger Games, for example). I still HIGHLY recommend this books. Definitely a book to check out if you’re looking for a book that’s fairly simple, not too long, and a good read.
There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
— Ernest Hemingway
Antony and Cleopatra
Although not the most famous, Antony and Cleopatra is still a well known historical tragedy by William Shakespeare.
This famous love affair between two well-known figures in history takes you on a rather interesting adventure throughout all the obstacles the two encounter. The love and lust, tragedy and death all make for one interesting story that could only have been interpreted so well by Shakespeare.
Despite how interesting and intriguing the tragedy was, it did become rather confusing at times. All hail Sparknotes! It definitely helped to get the most out of the story. Overall rating for Antony and Cleopatra on a scale of 0 to 5: 3.
When I meandered up to my bookshelf, I found it was mostly comprised of fiction, fantasy, and manga. However, I managed to find this, a novel from my stint of teenage romance. While I expected a ditsy and flirtatious novel revolving around basketball and pom-poms, I got much more than that.
The novel written by Thu-Huong Ha, a girl that won the PUSH novel contest at the age of fourteen while living in the suburbs of New Jersey, delves into the most basic and most vulnerable example of human nature: high school. It follows the senior year of Caesar (John Miller), who is the basketball captain, and most looked-after guy in high school. Every girl wants him, and he uses every little thing to his advantage. He lives with his two younger sisters, and his slightly awkward father who tries to keep their family together. Caesar is just surviving, and we get a first-person look at his character. It’s stated that Caesar acknowledges the fact that his behavior may be shallow, but he is fine remaining just how he is. In the novel, it’s very prevalent how high school students find fun in these times. Partying, drinking with wild abandon, and the ones that wear the most makeup, have the most nonexistent waists, and have the highest heels.
His life keeps putzing along, until he meets with a rare kind of girl. Eva (pronounced Ay-va), meets Caesar and remarkably, doesn’t want him, doesn’t want to be near him, and even cracks a joke at his expense. Caesar is enraged by this, but doesn’t know how to deal with this antagonistic, unmoving girl. Through several more instances come up with her, varying from parties to lakeside conversations, she makes questions rise in Caesar that questions everything he thought he was.
Is it still worth being this way?
Is he still capable of loving?
Does he find love for Eva?
This novel adds depth and a new side to the culture and stigmata between being popular versus being who you are. The author displays maturity and an unseen wisdom and talent at such a young age. This proves that someone’s voice can still be heard, despite how young she is. I suggest reading it, young and old, as a way to see people in a different way, and maybe the lines between cliques are a bit more blurred than we thought.
Catcher in the Rye
Now, all the high-schoolers in the world are groaning, sighing, throwing their things at their computers, or even throwing their laptops at the wall at my choice of book, but hear me out!
While you might be sick at the thought of reading more about Holden Caulfield and his strange adventures in New York and his rants about “Phonys”, you have to realize certain things about the idea of a character like Holden Caulfield.
Holden is a normal 16-17 year old boy, a cynic, a rebel, and a leader for the misunderstood teenager of the 21st Century. He is a walking contradiction, with his distain for phony people, yet shows certain qualities he claims to hate. He stands at six-foot two, has grey hair, and yet confesses himself that he behaves like a 13 year old most of the time. Holden represents the resistance of growing up, the idea that one can hold on to their youth rather than grow old and lose the fun in their lives. Or, the idiocy of youth. Either one.
The book begins with Holden being expelled from his prep school and going to New York. He asks a cab driver about some ducks, gets a hotel, dances with three tourist girls, pays for a prostitute but only talks to her, gets punched in the stomach by the girl’s pimp, goes to the city, calls up his old girlfriend named Sally, goes to a musical, goes skating, asks Sally to run away with him, gets blown off by Sally, calls her a “royal pain in the ass”, misses his sister and goes to a museum and thinks about his dead brother and Eskimos, all the while continually putting on his Red-Hunting Cap and wondering why, Drinking, Being Lonely and still Wondering About What Happens to the Ducks When the Pond Freezes.
Sounds depressing, right? Well, it totally is. After all this, he sneaks back into his old house and dances with his little sister, Pheobe. He shares a fantasy of his about wanting to be a (get ready for this, you guys….), Catcher in the Rye. This is from a line in a misheard version of a poem by Robert Burns, called ‘Comin Through the Rye’.
“Gin a body catch a body/ comin through the rye” gives Holden a mental picture of a field of rye and children playing in the field, with himself catching all the children before they plummet off the edge of a cliff. This is a representation of children losing their innocence (again, the thing Holden represents, as does the Hunting-Cap, the interaction with the Prostitute, and the Ducks in the Pond!! See? Learning can be fun!!), and Holden thinking that their must be a different way to reach the (to borrow from another classic book), ‘Great Perhaps’.
Overall, this is a book you really need to read when you’re NOT being graded on it, or being forced to read it, or anything like that. It’s a very enjoyable book, under the right circumstances, that talks about being a teenager and how it feels to fit into a world we don’t understand, or even WANT to be a part of. It’s about accepting the world as is, even if you really don’t want to.
I adore this book; it’s one of my favorite books ever. It’s an incredible book, by an intriguing man about an interesting subject. I would recommend reading it at your own rate, without school forcing you to, and without any pressure other than wanting to have a good read.
Audrey, Wait! review
During one of my frequent bouts of needing a new and exciting book, I dive-rolled up to the librarian and her lacquered desk of doom and sheepishly asked what books she would recommend. She raised her brow at my antics and simply replied that the book Audrey, Wait! had become quite popular and to try that out. To be honest, when I picked up the neon jacketed book I was a bit skeptical, but as the librarian had never steered me wrong I decided to read it, and I am quite happy that I did.
The book Audrey, Wait! was an extremely fun, quick and enjoyable read. The book starts out with the main character Audrey breaking up with her useless, moronic boyfriend., who in a bout of drug induced and heartbroken angst wrote a song about their break up which becomes a smash hit, instantly rocketing Audrey to stardom. Paparazzi, word-twisting news reporters, and drama ensues.
Now to get into the details starting with the characters. Audrey, who is the main character, was a complex and interesting character, but I found it personally a bit difficult to entirely get into and like the character because she is so opposite to myself. She is a rocker who goes to hardcore concerts, parties, and who drinks alcohol. Because of this, some of the moments where I was supposed to feel badly for Audrey, I more felt like she got herself into the problems due to her gross lack of common sense. Then again this could be partly due to her age. Moving onto the supporting characters, I highly enjoyed the witty repertoire between the supporting cast and Audrey. In some moments, they actually out shined the main character.
Into the plot, I found it quite easy to fall into the ebb and flow of the storyline. The plot is supported with fluid writing and a few twists and turns that make the story exciting. I will admit, the book on a whole was relatively easy to predict what was going to happen next, but those few twists and turns made it worth it. As far as little quirks that also made it a worthwhile read, the chapter names are names of songs and, as a major music buff, you have no idea how excited I was to find songs I knew and loved as well as songs I need to listen to.
So what is my recommendation for Audrey, Wait! you ask? Well, I highly recommend Audrey, Wait! to teens who want a quick and exciting, although simple read.