I Wonder Sometimes… Reply

Wonder, by Raquel J. Palacio, is a tale of how differences can be overcome if you simply look past them. A boy named Auggie has a severe facial disfigurement, which causes him to have an “unsettling” appearance that others are scared of interacting with. He was not enrolled in a public school because he was always in the hospital receiving surgeries. During this time, his older sister Via was his best and only friend. For his fifth grade year, Auggie is enrolled in a private school and makes new friends, while also having to deal with students in his grade who constantly bully him.

Wonder is broken up into parts, which are each told from a different character’s point of view. This setup is able to show many sides of the story, and how each character feels throughout the book. These parts progress in time, so the character telling the story will not retell the last event, but rather tell life how they are seeing it in real time. This immerses the reader into their world and continuously changes their perspective on the story, which makes it a more interesting novel. More…


Book Recommendations: Realistic Fiction Reply

Water for Elephants


By Sara Gruen

We are pulled into the bittersweet memories of ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski, who recalls his life as a young man. During his final year at Princeton University, Jacob loses his parents to a car crash. Left destitute and penniless, he begins his journey as a wanderer. Tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, he pursues his career as a circus vet and lives through passion, pain, anger and joy.


Divergent: Book vs. Movie Reply

Divergent has been a popular topic ever since the books came out. Being the first book out of the Divergent trilogy, Divergent introduces a dystopian future in which the only city left after a horrible war is split into five groups, otherwise known as factions. The five factions are Abnegation, Dauntless, Candor, Erudite, and Amity. These factions group people based on their most apparent quality. Abnegation represents selflessness, Dauntless represents bravery and courage, Candor represents honesty, Erudite represents intelligence, and Amity represents peace.



The book revolves around a 16-year old girl named Beatrice Prior. The plot of the book starts on the day of her aptitude test. In this society, once a child turned 16, they had to take an aptitude test that determined which faction they would live in for the rest of their lives. Beatrice was feeling very anxious, but she felt ready. After waiting a bit at her school, she was called in by a test distributor named Tori. Tori told Beatrice that she would go through a series of simulations in which she must make decisions that would best fit the situation. After the simulations were over, Tori nervously told Beatrice that she was Divergent. Tori explained that people who were Divergent were rare because they had an aptitude for more than one faction. Beatrice’s test showed results in aptitude for Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite. Tori said she must hide her Divergence and that she should just pretend that her results were inconclusive. The rest of the book goes into More…

Finding Spiritual Enlightenment with James Franco Reply

Palo Alto James Franco

The majestic beauty that is James Franco’s unscathed scruffy mind, fixated on rape jokes involving Seth Rogen, love triangles involving Seth Rogen and literature that should have involved Seth Rogen, has reared a questionable head. Palo Alto, published in 2010, is a collection of short stories written by an individual who has not yet fully comprehended his potential success as a Tresemme model. This novel, as he calls it, is a sad representation of this squinty eyed starlet, who accurately depicted the tragic happenings of James Dean’s life in the work of cinema “James Dean.” That’s not to say that all the short stories featured in this classy, woven bounded pile of papers are terrible. His wit and humorous anecdotes give the reader a second hand high, thus welcoming you to the Franco nation. More…

Woody Allen: A Witty and Effervescent Human-being Reply

After walking around Union Square one hypothermic afternoon, I found myself seeking shelter in the nearest store which just so happened to be Strand- the real life Beauty and the Beast library but not as grandiose and not free- even though most books are close to it. Although the weather outside was frightful, I found myself gravitating towards the dollar books outdoors because 1) They cost less than a water bottle and 2) They cost less than a water bottle- therefore deeming them to be more vital to our lives than water itself- which is pretty vital. While browsing I came upon an old, antiquated book called “Side Effects” by Woody Allen, which More…

Entertainment Section: What to Watch, Listen, and Read

What to watch: Community- This quirky comedy about a study group in community college comes back for its fourth season on…. someday. The date is still unknown, but when it comes back on, please watch it so it doesn’t get cancelled. Hailed by many as the Arrested Development of this generation, if you like self-referential humor, long running inside jokes, and plot continuity, you’ll like this show. Also, Joel McHale is in it. So again, please watch it.

What to listen to: Two Door Cinema Club- The Irish indie band released their sophomore album, Beacon, this September, a follow up to 2009’s Tourist History. Both albums are extremely catchy, but while Tourist History has a more dancey feel, Beacon sounds more mellow, so just pick which one you wanna listen to. Either way, you’ll enjoy it.
What to read: Book Thief by Markus Zuzak- A historical fiction novel about Germany during World War II, this book will make you laugh and make you cry, but mostly make you cry. Be prepared to be completely immersed in the story and the historical context of the novel, and also have a box of tissues next to you as you’re approaching the end, because you will need it.

What to Listen To; What to Watch; What to Read

What to Listen To:

Adversity by Beach Fossils… Along with their whole album: What a Pleasure. All their songs are really relaxing and they’re similar to The Drums.

James Franco by Hoodie Allen. Because… James Franco.

What to Watch:

Movie: BeetleJuice– Directed by Tim Burton
Tim Burton can do no wrong.

TV Show: Arrested Development– On Netflix or Hulu
C’mon, three seasons and a movie!

Youtube: DailyGrace
Second funniest female comedian on Youtube.

What to Read:

When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops by George Carlin. This book has “rough” humor, so don’t read it if you tend to get offended easily. Actually, no- read it anyway.

“The Fault in Our Stars” Book Review Reply

“ The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”  Shakespeare

John Green is capable of flustering with emotions in a way that a person you are not closely associated with usually cannot. He clearly demonstrates this in his new novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” by sending emotions of excitement, sorrow, hysteria and maybe even depression our way. The novel is a mixture More…

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins Reply

If you enjoyed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you will love the sequal, Catching Fire.  This was one of the most highly anticipated books of 2009 and a must read for anyone who read The Hunger Games.
I would highly recomend this book to all readers because the story and writing style were really interesting and it was the kind fo book you can’t put down once you start.  Every part of the book flowed, fit together well, and had a purpose.  Even information that seemed pointless or unimportant at the time ended up being significant in the story.
In the first book, Katness Everdeen goes into the annual Hunger Games and is crowned the victor of her district along with her friend Peeta.  The sequel continues their story.  As the victors are settling into their houses in the Victor’s Village, they get a visit from President Snow.  He lets Katniss know that everyone could be in danger More…

Book Review: The Hunger Games Reply

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, takes place in an amazingly twisted imagined future of the United States.  After a huge revolution, the 13 districts of Panem rebelled against its ruling city, the Capitol. Naturally, the Capitol won and to punish and remind the remaining twelve districts (district 13 was destroyed) of the great rebellion, they started a competition called the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games starts out with a ceremony called “the Reaping.” During the Reaping, each district chooses a girl and a boy randomly from the ages of 12 to 18 to go to the Capitol to train for the games. The games are televised on television and the purpose of the games is to kill the other competitors and be the last one alive.  During the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen’s (the protagonist) sister, Prim, gets selected to participate in the games but Katniss volunteers to take More…

Book Review: Twilight From a Guy’s Perspective Reply

by Sayeed A ’14

I don’t understand what all the fuss was about because this book was just okay. The plot in the book was decent but the characters were hollow and boring. I am a guy so maybe I would not like a story in a girl’s point of view. The love story parts of the book were freaky and inexcusable and also a little graphic and detailed. The book was also repetitive at times. It always stated how it rained in the Forks, Bella’s hometown and how she went to class and talked to her friends. Why do I care what More…

Book Review: The Forever War Reply

The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins, recounts the author’s eye witness experiences of the rise of the Taliban in the 90’s and the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He whittles the hundreds of notebooks he filled up during his years as a war correspondent for the New York Times down to a series of around 50 vignettes. The Forever War does a remarkable job of humanizing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which can so often seem distant and abstract. Filkins’ writing gives you More…

Book Review: Uglies Reply

By Alexandra K ’13 and Naimh N ’13

“She could see New Pretty Town through her open window. The party towers were already lit up, and snakes of burning torches marked flickering pathways through the pleasure gardens. A few hot-air balloons pulled at their tethers against the darkening pink sky, their passengers shooting safety fireworks at other balloons and passing parasailers.” All Tally Youngblood wanted was to be pretty and party in New Pretty Town with every other 16-year-old. Tally’s world is not like anyone else’s. It’s a few centuries after our time, and things have changed. When people turn 16, they get an operation that turns them from ugly to pretty.
When Tally meets a new girl, Shay, while sneaking out of Uglyville, they instantly become More…

Book Review: It Chicks Reply

Gossip Girl with a twist, is one way to look at “It Chicks.” The twist? All the characters do not already have it made for them, but instead are trying to push themselves up to the top at a famous performing arts high school and are mostly minorities. However, there is just as much drama and it is just as addicting to read.
The main character Tangie goes through both relationship and body image issues. She is More…

Book Review: Zig Zag Reply

Ellen Wittlinger, author of many other teen books including Hard Love, awes us with a realistic-fiction novel of hardships, a long distance relationship, the struggle of two vulnerable kids who have just lost their father and one cousin who wants to fix it all.

Robin and Chris have been a couple for two years now and have made plans to spend everyday of their last summer together. Chris’ parents offer him a trip for a summer learning program in Rome.  The gift being too good to refuse leaves Robin crushed – all of their romantic plans automatically cancelled. Ironically, More…