Book Nook

Each month I (June, duh) recommend something that is vitally important to my existence. This month, books because; dramatic pause I read a lot. There is something about reading a book you won’t be quizzed on that just makes it is a much more enjoyable experience. These are some of my personal favorites and I tried to recommend books that everyone can enjoy. If you have even made it this far that means you are literate (yay!) and therefore should consider experience one or two or ALL of these excellent novels. Below you will can read up about these novels to help you decide if you want to read one. So please enjoy!

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Book Nook

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Salt to the Sea
Ruta Sepetys

    If you have ever read Between Shades of Grey, you already know and love Ruta Sepetys. This novel focuses on the end of  World War II, when thousands of refugees are making their way through Prussia to the ocean, hoping to board giant ships to escape the war zone before the Soviet Union arrives. Joana, Emilia and Florian, three of our four narrators are all on this treacherous journey. The novel rotates between their perspectives, adding dramatic irony and keeping it engaging. As the novel progresses and as out narrators get closer to the sea, we find out more of their secrets, like how moody and gruff Florian is transporting stolen goods, and how kind Joana is not as innocent as she seems. When they finally make it to the sea there are still NUMBER OF PAGES LEFT IN BOOK. I was nervous at this point because I thought everything was resolved, they would board their ship and sail away, but NOPE, the book just got harder to put down. Sepetys’s pays tribute to the overlooked tragedy of these thousands of refugees in Salt to the Sea. I recommend this book to any historical fiction buff, anyone who has read Between Shades of Grey, as well as anyone who can respect a story that perfectly captures the terror and loss of World War II.

We Were Liars
E. Lockhart

Not gonna lie, the last twenty pages of my copy are stained with my tears. Call me sentimental, but this book got me good. This sophisticated suspense novel follows Cadence Easton Sinclair during her 17th straight summer on her family’s private island. Cadence looks forward to every summer, its one of the few times she gets to have her family all in one place. But the year before, during summer 16, the adults all start fighting over inheritance, arguing and throwing hateful comments around. At the end of summer 16, something happened one evening, and due to the memory loss caused from a brain injury she sustained that fateful night, she can’t remember anything from that summer. But, Cadence is determined to find out just what happened summer 16. As her memory returns, jolted into her mind by being in familiar places on the island, Cadence slowly and painfully uncovers the truth. This novel is a pretty easy read and the plot had me engrossed in every word. If I had had two or three straight hours to kill, I would have slaughtered them by reading We Were Liars. I recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good plot twist, and to anyone who likes crying… a lot. No, like I don’t cry when I read normally, but by the end of the book, I was bawling and my Mom had to come check on me.

House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende

This was my first Isabel Allende novel, but it won’t be my last. One of my favorite aspects of this book is how it spans most of the twentieth century, detailing the complex lives of three generations of the Trueba family. Esteban Trueba makes his family’s fortune but becomes bitter and obsessed with retaining his wealth. His unruly daughter Blanca falls for a man he despises, but Blanca’s forbidden love produces his greatest joy, his grandaughter Alba, who, according to the novel’s description, leads the Trueba family and their country into a “revolutionary future.” The trials and tribulations of the Trueba family are beautifully written, vibrant and witty, making the House of Spirits an absorbing read. As I mentioned before, the plot thickens over the course of 90+ years, and I did not feel like I had missed any of them. I found myself profoundly impressed by Allende’s ability to smoothly sum up months and years of the Trueba’s hectic lives in a paragraph or two. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys eloquent details, something Allende has nailed down, or to those who love a good bildungsroman, because in this book you get three!

Catcher in the Rye
J.D Salinger

Catcher in the Rye is one book that I would have read on my own had not been school required reading. Do not, I beg of you, Sparknote this one. The Catcher in the Rye is all about the journey, not the destination. Holden Caulfield is just a 16 year old kid running from his problems, and that my friends, is basically the entire book. He is afraid of his impending adulthood, and he does everything he can to avoid thinking about being a grown up. So he wanders New York City after getting kicked out of yet another boarding school, avoiding the future and just trying to live in the moment. That’s one aspect I admire about Holden, his ability to tune everything else out and just be in one place at one time, even if it is for the wrong reasons. One of the aspects I love about this book is Salinger’s ability to make Holden so lifelike; I felt as if I was reading his thoughts, every angsty, humorous, distracted one that ran through his head. Sometimes I would find myself reading a two page rant about ducks or the pointlessness of movie theaters. Salinger also writes in such an unstructured way; it does not feel messy, but maybe that’s why Holden is so realistic, because real people aren’t perfect. I would recommend this book to people can appreciate chaos, and to anyone who doesn’t want to grow up.

American Street
Ibi Zoboi

This is one of those books that just changes your perspective on life. Zoboi taught me that America, a place that has always been my comfortable and privileged home, can be incredibly scary and foreign to others. This is just what Fabiola Toussaint experiences. Fabiola and her mother had a plan: they were supposed to move from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Detroit Michigan to live with Fabiola’s aunt and cousins. Fabiola is already not happy about uprooting her life and going to live in in America, and the move becomes even more terrifying when her mother is detained by authorities in New Jersey and Fabiola has to go to Detroit alone. She is scared, lonely, and can’t even speak English very well, but with support from her wild cousins, tough love aunt and some Haitian Gods, life in Detroit becomes comfortable. Just as she finds her footing in the rocky streets of Detroit, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. American Street is all about adjusting, leaving behind what you know, and being forced out into the unknown. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a little inspiration to step out of their comfort zone and face the truth..


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