LHS BOOK CLUB READS
The LHS Book Club meets every Friday at lunch to share book reviews, snacks and fun times. These are some of the books we’ve read this year. Check them out!
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Oona)
This book is the sequel to Six of Crows.
Set in a fantasy world - with completely different countries, languages and religions… The story starts in a fictional town similar to Amsterdam called Ketterdam, with a red light district, drugs and gangs. One of the gangs called gets hired to break a famous scientist out of a nearly impenetrable prison. This gang of six teenagers end up on a huge, ridiculous heist; there's magic, LGBTQ representation and adventure; each of the six main characters take turn narrating the book; there is witty banter and excellent character names.
The House of Bernarda Alba, a play by Federico García Lorca (Emily)
This is an interesting play, centered around a family that fights a lot. There is some Romeo and Juliet stuff in the 3rd Act. It’s set in Spain in the early 1900’s.
O'Henry's Short Stories (Albert)
In this collection of stories, most are either set in New York City and center on interactions between incredibly rich people and very poor people, or the stories are set out west on a farm. The stories often end with some kind of uncommon twist of plot, such as swapped expectations.
Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan (Annika)
Annika describes this series, which she is re-reading as “real dank.” It’s like the Lighting Thief series, only it incorporates a bunch of Egyptian mythology instead of Greek myths. The main characters are current day teenagers. Although they're not children of Gods, they are descendants of pharaohs.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (James, the younger)
The story centers around two main characters. One is a boy who is a rich kid at pretentious school. The other character is a teenage girl named Blue, who is working class, a pessimist, and who comes from a family of fortune tellers, but doesn’t have any magical skills herself.
Biography of Julius Caesar (James, the older)
Julius Caesar is pretty old dude when he starts his campaign. He’s a general who beats back the Gaelic. The story, true history, is fast-paced; Caesar defiantly slaughtered the Gaelic; crossed the rubicon and did a whole bunch of other violent acts while grabbing power for the Roman Empire and becoming “one of the greatest military leaders in history.”
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody (Jay)
This is a historical fantasy set in Europe after WW2. There is a group called The Misfits that have a variety of magical/mystical abilities, like being able to hear people’s thoughts, for example. The main character is a The Misfits, but she’s trying her hardest to keep her abilities a secret so the church won’t send her away. Her brother is involved with the church, and he is afraid of losing his status is the church finds out about his sister. He hates her but protects her secrets for his own selfish reasons. There is a nun who takes pity on the girl and secretly shepherds her away to Mt. Obernewtyn with other Misfits...
Making the Corps by Thomas E. Ricks (Albert)
This is nonfiction book follows a marine through boot camp. It tells a story but has a documentary style, pulling in facts about marine culture, and is both factually detailed and incredibly interesting.
More details from the book publisher:
The bestselling, compelling insider's account of the Marine Corps from the lives of the men of Platoon 3086—their training at Parris Island, their fierce camaraderie, and the unique code of honor that defines them.
The United States Marine Corps, with its proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth. Making the Corps visits the front lines of boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. Here, old values are stripped away and new Marine Corps values are forged. Bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks follows these men from their hometowns, through boot camp, and into their first year as Marines. As three fierce drill instructors fight a battle for the hearts and minds of this unforgettable group of young men, a larger picture emerges, brilliantly painted, of the growing gulf that divides the military from the rest of America.
Included in this edition is an all-new afterword from the author that examines the war in Iraq through the lens of the Marines from Platoon 3086, giving readers an on-the-ground view of the conflict from those who know it best.
Swarm, the sequel to Zeroes, by Scott Westerfeld (Oona)
Zeroes is about six kids (15 to 16 yrs old). They all have superpowers, but not like flying or invisibility or obvious stuff. Example: One has a voice (Ethan) inside of him that can read minds and can speak through him, but he doesn’t know what it’s going to say, and the voice actually gets him in trouble sometimes. Another is blind, but can see through other people’s eyes. There are bank robberies, demolition, exploding buildings, night clubs and drugs. The book is really funny and very exciting. In the book, these six teenagers with powers knew each other before, but had a falling out, and this book is about them getting back together and working through some adventure and crime in the process. (They’re called 0’s because they were all born in 2000.)
Swarm, the sequel, continues the story of these six teenagers as they add to their group, finding more teenagers with powers and continuing to hide their powers from adults.
The Unwind Series by Neal Shusterman (Lyn)
1st book: Unwind: This book sets up the world where anyone under 18 can be “unwound” if their parents decide they’d rather donate the child’s organs than continue to raise them. It’s thought of as completely normal to unwind someone. The main characters are a teenage girl and boy who are dealing with the threat of being being unwound.
2nd book: UnWholly: The story continues and the two main characters from the first book get separated. They meet a 3rd person made up entirely of donated body parts, who wasn’t actually born at all. There’s also a fourth character, but we don’t want to spoil the mystery or suspense of this series so that’s all you get here.
3rd book: UnSouled: This book includes all four characters; it deals with the aftermath of the 2nd book. Each character figures out something important about the Unwinding.
Although there’s not a strong romance - there is a romantic side plot that doesn’t overshadow the main story.
I’m waiting for my cousin to finish the 4th book, UnDivided. It’s the last in the series and I’m looking forward to finishing this interesting dystopian thriller.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Gabe)
I thought this book was kind of slow at first, but it started getting really interesting around the middle of the book. I liked how the writer developed the theme of sin; the point when the main character lost his best friend and then later tried to redeem himself was a really powerful piece of the novel.
James - Reading articles online about child soldiers on the west coast of Liberia cocaine, meth, and gunpowder, they smoke it; they’re basically not people anymore they’re so high, They’d kill a 5 yr old child and the whole tribe would eat him. They’d drink blood and do cocaine and go kill people. It made me really grateful for my private life, that we live in a society where this doesn’t happen.
Greek Army of all gay men - fought really hard because next to their lovers, which reminded me of the book, The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller - Think “Brokeback Trojan War”
The Lightning Thief and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard books by Rick Riordan (Rose is rereading these).
Percy Jackson is a dyslexic, ADHD 12-year-old who has never made above a C- in his life. Every year something happens in the school that he is in, and it forces him to change schools. After sixth grade ends, something so drastic happens that turns his life upside down. He is sent to Half Blood Hill, a summer camp for people who are special -- so special, in fact -- that it turns out that Percy is the son of a Greek god, and that the myths are true. What follows is an exciting quest to retrieve something that has been stolen and must be returned by the Summer Solstice, and after this, nothing in Percy’s life will be the same again. This book is great because it has witty humour, a wisecracking narrator, and an excellent adventure. If you like books that make you laugh, but still have some action, you will love Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Candide by Voltaire (several in book club are reading this)
“I like the philosophy in that book.” “He's funny.”
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (James is reading it in Spanish)
“It has a lot of exaggeration. This woman gets so mad she catches on fire. This other woman was so sad when she was baking a cake for a wedding and a tear drops into the cake. Then everyone at the wedding eats the cake and starts crying. Magical realism. It's really weird, but good.”
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Oona read it)
It's not as good as the Raven Cycle books by the same author. The Scorpio Races was pretty boring at first. I didn't start getting into it until halfway into the book. Now that I know where it's going, it's more interesting. It's on this island called Fizby (like somewhere in the U.K.); a tourist island with a bunch of shepherds. Kate is called Puck and mythical creatures (murderous water horses that come out of the ocean) you can catch them with magic and train them, and they race them once a year on the island. Picks parents were killed by the horses. The other main characters Sean whose parents were racers and also killed by the horses... these two are competing in the race.
Told in two perspectives.
Cyclops by Clive Cussler (Gabe)
A book about this ship that was carrying some sort of mysterious treasure back to the U.S. in 1915. The ship sank because of too much weight. A really rich financier went on a blimp to find the treasure, but his blimp disappeared around Cuba.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (other Gabe)
Ender is so focused and doesn't let anyone get in his way. He's such a strong leader. “Everything I do was shaped by that book.”
If you like Ender’s Game, you may also like Ender’s Shadow
Comic called Hooky (Emily)
Webtune app - witches from a powerful family
Glitter by Aprilynn Pike (Rose)
A princess decides to sell a drug called Glitter in order to escape an arranged marriage to a bad guy and falls in love with her dealer. Modern setting, with modern day technology, but still in a castle with big dresses.
"I'm a slut for steampunk."
If you're into modern day with magic, check out Ilona Andrews. It's hilarious. Ohmygod.
Kind of Confidential comic (Emily)
This guy who is a superhero like super man. His name is Sky Boy, which is kid of stupid. There's this girl who is a villain... She saves Sky Boy... more from there.
^reminds me of a book I used to read as a kid... everyone in this universe has a super power. The main guy is like the one person that doesn't have a super power. He's an only child. Mom has fire powers. Dad has ice powers. They assume their powers cancel out, but it turns out he's super smart.
Hamlet by Shakespeare
“He's sassy emo trash and I love it.”
Hamlet has a ton of sexual passages/ innuendos.
Horacio is my man. He's so cool. He is the voice of reason. "Horacio should talk to the ghost. He went to college."
Pelonious deserved to die.
Everyone dies. It's a tragedy.
Shakespeare was really salty.
I like how Ophelia is sassy back at hamlet.
(YouTube "Sassy Gay Friend" Hamlet)
Prettiest Doll by Gina Willner-Pardo
Also about a beauty pageant girl
Her mom is a single mom, who does taxidermy to pay the bills.
Meets a 15-year-old boy w/ an aging disease and they go on a trip together...
Max: Best Friend. Hero. Marine. by Jennifer Li Shotz (Gabe)
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Main character is discovering the town. The beginning was pretty slow going - traveling in a buggy from one castle to another.
Geek Girl by Holly Smale (Cheyanne)
A girl that turns into a model. In the end she realizes that she should have been herself all along.
A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin (James/ Albert)
(WWI) starts out that he's walking the Italian countryside in his 60's w/ some young kid and starts reminiscing about the war...
The main character joined the naval infantry...he got shipped to Sicily and captured a bunch of deserters.
A bunch of stuff happens...
There's a bunch existential ramblings.
Swordbearer by Teddy Jacobs (Gabe)
Set in medieval setting; this boy meets a girl who has magical powers. He doesn't have powers, at first, but he has a vision of a marketplace and the girl is there. She jumps through his vision into his room. Later, they jump through a portal into another place to fight bad creatures and he finds out more about his family history in the process.
Old Man Logan Marvel comic series (James)
Set in the future. The supervillans have killed all superheroes except The Hulk and his wife a female Hulk. They have kids, and their kids have kids... Logan (Wolverine) won't use his claws again b/c of a traumatic incident where he was tricked into killing a friend.
Arrow sells drugs now, but he's blind... Logan's family was murdered by the Hulk gang.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Oona)
Audiobook is narrated by the same voice actor who narrated Harry Potter
It's the most mysterious book! It's about so many things. It's so good though. The theme is that it's the circus that comes into any town randomly. There's no schedule. No one knows when it will appear and it's only open at night. It's full of magic. For ex, there's this cloud maze... The Dreamers is the group of people trying to figure out the secrets of the circus... There's also a story about the illusionist who works at the circus. There's another story about this boy Marcus who also lives in the circus and tries to outdo the illusionist. There's a little kid named Bailey who sneaks into the circus during daytime.