Review: All The Light We Cannot See

Stones are just stones and rain is just rain and misfortune is just bad luck. Some things are simply more rare than others, and that’s why there are locks.” -Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See Synopsis: Marie-Laure is a blind girl in France who adores her father, a museum keeper who carries a valuable, magic…

Review: I’ll Give You The Sun

What it is: I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is a young adult novel about twins and talented artists Jude and Noah. The two start off extremely close, but challenges in adolescence (including family, spirituality, romance, betrayal, and death) cause tension as they compete with each other. Meanwhile, they must discover their artistic selves and navigate…

Review: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

What it is: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini follows the story of Craig Gilner, a 15-year-old boy with depression. He goes to a highly competitive high school and finds himself struggling with schoolwork, friend conflicts, and an inability to sleep and eat. Suicidal, he checks himself into the psychiatric ward of the…

Review: Lost At Sea

What it is: Lost At Sea is a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame) about a girl named Raleigh who goes on an unintentional post-graduation road trip and ends up discovering deep connections with three new friends and with herself. What I liked about it: Basically everything. I’m a sucker for a good road trip…

Review: We Need New Names

What it is: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo is a story about Darling, a young Zimbabwean girl who has the opportunity to leave behind her poor, corrupt country to try to make a new life in the USA. It’s a tale of growing up, but Darling also has to acclimate to a new culture while…

Review: Fun Home

What it is: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel is a graphic memoir that examines Bechdel’s childhood, especially her relationship with her father and her discovery and exploration of her sexuality. Almost everything in the graphic memoir, from people in Bechdel’s life to to the literature she reads, seems to parallel elements of her personality, making…

Great American Novel Guy

Do you ever try to imagine the hidden lives of strangers? I can’t help but look at people in airports, at a coffee shop, or on the street and create possible circumstances and struggles and priorities for them in my mind. There’s a man who works in one of my college’s dining halls. He’s hardworking and has great customer…