Book Genre: Contemporary

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Carol Rifka Brunt
Allie
5

I'm completely floored by Tell the Wolves I'm Home. It's not labeled Young Adult, and while it does not have the current YA conventions, it's a definite bildungsroman.

Set in 1987, we have two sisters, June and Greta; their dying uncle Finn and his "special friend" Toby; their...

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Alexander McCall Smith
Josh
4

  Alexander McCall Smith is the author of several popular series and this one is yet another in that number. Originally published as a newspaper series, McCall himself says that they were intended to keep readers' interest and leave them longing to read the next installment. Thus the book's...

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Ice-T (Musician)
CoCo Supreme23
4

  Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood by Ice-T and Douglas Century captured my attention from start to finish. After losing both parents by the age of 12, Tracy Marrow (Ice-T) was sent to live with relatives in Los Angeles where he steered the...

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Edward Myers
Josh
3

    This book's title caught my attention and I thought I 'd give it a try.  It is written from the perspective of an American teen, Rick Dresner who hails from Denver and  is spending the summer with a family  in a small Mexican town.  He is determined to better...

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Cristina Henríquez
Josh
5

   I had seen this title on various lists and I felt that I simply had to tackle it soon.  Most stories of immigrants from Mexico often feature the crushing poverty or rampant violence that motivated them to leave. The Rivera family however had a contented life there but left due...

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Rainbow Rowell
Becker
4

Rainbow Rowell has been getting so much buzz, I decided to try one of her books. Landline isn't a traditional romance--it's not about those first moments, the push and pull of falling in love, ending with the happily ever after. It's about the hard work of marriage, about how things change after...

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Edwidge Danticat
Alison
3

The stories in this novel fit together (some loosely and some exactly) into a compelling narrative about Haitians affected by civil strife starting in 1959.  Various characters are victims, perpetrators of the violence during this time, and descendants from either side.  This multi-...

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Rosa Rankin-Gee
Becker
4

The nostalgia of an idyllic island summer is fully felt in this debut novel. Recent college graduate Jude (not the expected young man) has been hired to tutor 16-year-old Pip for the college exams he has no intention of passing. Along with the Pip's family's cook, Sofi, the young almost-adults...

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Sherman Alexie
Alison
5

This collection of short stories is adventurous in a fun way and challenging in a personal way.  The stories circle around a diversity of motifs, all of which are investigated through a variety of characters.  Some of these themes we have seen before (love, sexuality, identity, and...

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Cara Black
Laurie.
4

Aimée Leduc is a young and hungry private investigator living in Paris. Still mourning the loss of her detective father whose death she witnessed, Aimée is more determined than ever to stay away from criminal cases. But when taxes need to be paid, she accepts a job against her better...

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Padma Venkatraman
Hope H
4

Veda is a classical Bharatanatyam dancer at her technical best when a car accident forces doctors to amputate her right leg below the knee. She never once gives in to despair that she will never dance again, but her journey to relearn her art is far from easy. Frustrated by the new limitations...

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Meg Medina
Angelita
4

This is a good read for teenagers. The story seems realistic and I think that's what made me connect to the story. It was also because of the main character. Piddy is being bullied by a girl, Yaqui, she doesn't even know. Based off of various reason told by third parties: she shakes her ass too...

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Carol Weston
Hope H
3

10 year old Ava Wren is an outgoing word nerd whose biggest annoyance is being constantly overshadowed at home by her shy older sister, Pip. She understands why most of the time, because Pip is not just shy, but painfully shy. Like, barely says two words on any given day at school...

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Lauren Oliver
Rachel F
5

A very unique book! Told from the perspective of 2 ghosts in an old house while a family comes to terms with the estranged father/husband's death. The story weaves between characters and explores various connections to the past. I guessed several plot reveals, but there were a few the caught me...

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Merritt Tierce
Rachel F
4

This is a coming of age tale for young women of the "Girls" generation. Unflinching in her portrayals of sex as escape and catharsis, Teirce tells a story of a young mother growing into a woman and taking a painful and circuitous route to get there. 

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Jennifer Castle
Hope H
4

Justine used to be the sassy breakout star of the "Five At..." documentaries, but at 16 and with the next installment due to be filmed, she feels she's failed to live up to everyone's expectations of her, including her own. She has no boyfriend, no ambition, and she doesn't really even have any...

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Walter Mosley
Laurie.
4

This was a first for me. The opening paragraph describes a money shot for a porn film. Debbie Dare is the stage name of a popular porn star whose aged ex-porn star husband is found dead with an under-aged partner. But these deaths are not the crime to be solved. Mosley uses his cast of...

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Nina LaCour
Becker
4

A story of connection, family, the power of movies, and the power of the stories we tell ourselves, Emi Price's summer is captivating. She's just graduated from high school, has been working as set design intern for a movie studio for years, and has just gotten a big break and been asked to be...

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Ava Dellaira
Angelita
5

A must read if you liked Perks of Being a Wallflower. The emotions are pretty raw. In the beginning, you think that Laurel is just grieving the death of her sister, May, but as Laurel processes her loss she learns she can't hide all the things she was hiding from herself.  The...

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Cristina Henraiquez
Shanna
4

Arturo and Alma had a peaceful life in Mexico until their teenaged daughter, Maribel, suffered a traumatic brain injury.  Stricken with grief and afraid for her future, the family decides to immigrate to the United states, with the hopes of enrolling Maribel in a special school. However,...

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Matthew Quick
Monica
4

Reminiscent of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time", "The Good Luck of Right Now" follows the story of Bartholomew Neil after the death of his mother, who he has relied on his entire life.  Now that Bartholomew has to find his own way, he comes to realize at age 38  just...

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Margaret Atwood
Alison
3

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a near-future dystopia that begs questions about gender roles in today's Western society.  Through the narrator's limited and nebulous knowledge of what has happened -- the dystopic changes occurred suddenly and from the top -- readers...

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Wendy Wan Long Shang
Hope H
4

Lucy Wu thinks she's going to have the perfect year. She's going into sixth grade - the oldest and most respected year at her school, she's a shoe-in for her school's basketball team despite her short stature, and, best of all, her older sister is moving to college, leaving her their bedroom all...

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V. S. (Vidiadhar Surajprasad) Naipaul
Alison
5

There is something unsettling about laughing at someone else's misfortunes but sometimes we can't help ourselves. The novel A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul puts the reader into this situation on a regular basis: the work is funny because of the pathetic situation of the...

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Porscha
4

This documentary confronts the important issue of keeping and breeding wild and predatory animals in captivity. It’s specifically about Orca Whales and the human fatalities resulting in their captivity in businesses like SeaWorld. Although it wasn’t as informative or well-argued as I hoped,...