Book Reviews

Hanna Wauczinski, Journalist

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

This book follows a young girl named Lara-Jean, who writes love letters to every boy she’s loved, five in total. But she’s never sent them, she keeps them hidden in a box under her bed, a box that her mother gave her. The letters are her way of saying goodbye, her way of letting her crushes go, these are things that she would never say in real life, they are there for her only. Until one day her letters are sent out, and suddenly everyone she’s ever loved knows exactly how she feels.

This book was hilarious and sweet, though the main character was whiny at times, the story was heartwarming. She’d lost her mother at a young age and the tender innocence that went into her letters was charming and pulled the reader in, until you couldn’t help but care about her. The character’s antics and quirky nature captivated me and had me laughing till the end.

This Star Won’t Go Out

This non-fiction book was moving, it was heartbreaking, and it was a unique memoir that was told through the journals, letters, and sketches of a girl named Esther Earl. The book is full of heartfelt essays from her family and friends and in the end, a letter from Esther to herself and her parents that highlighted everything exceptional and bright about her.

Esther Earl was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age twelve, from then on she had to live her life while navigating her physical decline with grace and positivity. Even on her worst days Esther was still looking for ways to cheer herself up. Esther touched thousands online with her growing online presence, making friends from all around the country. She touched them with her passion for Harry Potter and her way with words. That’s why it was so heartbreaking when in 2010 shortly after her 16th birthday, Esther Earl passed away, and everyone who knew her mourned. Her parents created this book to share how remarkable this young woman was, but more than that to show how normal she could be, and how happy she could make others.

Ruby Red

A time traveling gene runs through the female side of her family, her cousin got the gene, Gwen has been left out of all the “mysteries” that her cousin Charlotte has been taught, but that’s just the way she likes it, she can live as close to a normal life as possible. Away from all the drama that comes along with time travel, she’s free to be anyone she wants. That’s why it’s an unwelcome surprise when she begins taking sudden uncontrollable leaps into the past.

She keeps the reader moving along, forward and backward into time, ending with the perfect re-evaluation and a cliff hanger that leaves you anticipating more. This books plot and characters are first rate, they create an adventure that perfectly shows the fear and excitement of a teen rooted in the present and a change that turned her from a quirky skeptical teen to a girl trying to figure out how to survive in the past and present.