When the family home in Aleppo is destroyed by a government-led bomb strike, Walid has no choice but to take his wife and children and flee their war-torn and much loved homeland. They struggle to survive in the wretched refugee camps of Lebanon, and when Youssef becomes fatally ill as a result of the poor hygienic conditions, his father is forced to take great personal risk to save his family.
Walid’s daughter, the young Amina, a whip-smart grade-A student, tells the story. As she witnesses firsthand the harsh realities that her family must endure if they are to survive — swindling smugglers, treacherous ocean crossings, and jihadist militias — she is forced to grow up very quickly in order to help her parents and brother.
This book gives a very short, almost abrupt, version of what occurred in Syria. Some may enjoy this, I personally found it lacking. I would enjoy much more description and historical content. I found it to be very condensed, vague, choppy and jumpy.
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
This book is written with chapters alternating from the present to history. It’s deals with many different issues – mental health, LGBTQ, death – making this a very timely read. I quite enjoyed this book and feel it is a good read for all.
What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost? One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts. The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.
Wow, just wow. This book is amazing, it hits right in the heart. The story of four friends, three killed in an accident and the fourth feeling he is to blame. Throughout the story there are flashbacks to the four together so we get to know them as a group. We also see the raw emotions of those that are left behind. It is a grim reminder of why texting while driving is such a bad thing. And I’m not gonna lie, this book invoked tears from me on more than one occasion. It is a MUST READ.
Three students: dead. Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace. Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.” Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson. Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.
I had a bit of trouble getting into this book but, wow, once in…. So many questions – what happened to their parents, who is the girl, where is Juliet, what is the incident…. But no I am not going to answer any of them for you, you will just have to read the book yourself. Yes, this book sucked me in but midway through the “witchcraft/voodoo” stuff did get a little tedious and I had the Shyan figured out long before Kaitlyn did. That being said I still wanted to know all the answers to my many questions so I kept reading, and I did get answers. So if you like books that are a little twisted this one is for you.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
I had a tough time when I started reading this book due to the African American vernacular in which it is written but a few chapters in I didn’t notice it anymore. This book gives a first hand look into life in the ghetto, what is is like to live in a world filled with drugs and gangs. You see how racism can result in life changing events that perpetuate the distrust on both sides. This is an easy read with a good message and will be an eye opener for many.
Josie’s friend Amanda is missing. But because she’s a runaway with a history of drug use and other risky behavior, no one seems to care. Clem, the owner of the community kitchen in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where Josie works in exchange for food, advises her to just leave well enough alone. Then a young man whose friend is also missing asks her for help. Josie learns that she, along with the other teens who helped her bring down the cop responsible for the death of her entire family, is becoming known on the street as a person who makes sure justice is done. When the battered bodies of homeless teens start filling the city’s morgue, Josie and Team Retribution suspect a connection to their missing friends and begin investigating. They discover an underground fight club where at-risk youth are being forced to fight and even kill each other for sport. Josie is captured and may have to enter the ring herself to save her friends.
This is an action packed, fast moving book based on the streets of Vancouver giving a glimpse into the lives of its street people. You see the hopelessness of the lives of the runaways who live there and how they are drawn into bad situations. It also shows how friendships can be made and the lengths people will go to to help their friends. I enjoyed this book as it was action packed and a quick read. I was disappointed in the end as it leaves you hanging, not really sure what has happened to resolve the situation. I also found it strange in the beginning when the murder of Josie’s family is brought up as it doesn’t add to this book and must have been written in just to draw the reader’s curiosity enough to read the book that does deal with that topic.
Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.
Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?
Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.
I really had no idea what to expect when I started to read this book. It is a story that shows what true friendship can do for people and how important it is to be honest with your friends. It was a short book and I quite enjoyed it. There are quite a few Star Trek references that would definitely make more sense to Trekkie people but even if, like me, you aren’t a Trekkie it is easy to understand. The book depicts an “easy” fix to mental illness but does acknowledge that this really isn’t the case and the right treatment is needed and may take many years. It also acknowledges that people with mental illness are people too and should be treated as such.
A Pizza Party was held on Wednesday, February 7 to make the first semester prize draws. Students won Big Mac Coupons; Booster Juice Coupons; Taco Time coupons; Burger King coupons; MH Lodge Waterslide passes; Tim Hortons $5 Gift Cards (Emily Stock and Sierra Gold); Tigers game tickets (2 – Reinhold Knauer and 4 – Emily Stock); Cineplex 2 for 1 (Sierra Gold) and Kobo Aura eReader (Chase Hart). Thanks once again to all our sponsors:
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
When I read the overview of this book I thought it sounded like a pretty good book. But I’m not going to lie, when I started it, my thought was, this is going to be a long and painful read as sci-fi, space ships and computer hacking are not my thing. I kept reading (mostly because I felt I had too, it’s my job) and can honestly say it did improve. There is a lot of action with a really good story line. The book is a series of email discussions, thought processes, observations and spaceship schematics which make it a more interesting read (although some may find this confusing). In the end a good book especially if you are into spaceships, intergalactic travel and wars.
Just when Isabelle thinks her life can’t get any worse, something happens to her at school that makes her wonder how she can continue to look after her younger siblings, Evan and Maisie, work at the local mini-mart and deal with her alcoholic mother. It’s more than any sixteen-year-old should have to bear, but Isabelle can’t think of a way out that won’t hurt her brother and sister.
When Isabelle punches a girl at school, only one teacher sees past Isabelle’s aggressive behavior. Challenged to participate in a group writing project, Isabelle tentatively connects with a boy named Will and discovers an interest in (and talent for) the only kind of drama she can control–the kind that happens on the page.
I really enjoyed this book. It has great examples of dysfunctional families and how the behaviour is perpetuated as well as issues of bullying. Isabelle is the main character who has to deal with all of these issues and her strength of character is to be commended. These are issues which quite often are hidden and those who are living it are not always provided the assistance they need to break the cycle. This is a great book for anyone to read with a strong teenage lead.