Sabrina’s Book Corner: Somewhere Over the Fence

Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

My Life Next Door tells the story of Samantha Reed. Sam and her mother, a successful politician, live next door to the Garretts. The Garretts are the kind of family that Sam has always wanted. A family that’s loud, messy, affectionate, and full of people, which is drastically different from her own small family. While her sister is away for the summer, it’s just Sam and her mother in their house, which is always open-house clean and hear-a-pin-drop quiet. This is why Sam craves the chaos of life next door.

Sam likes to watch the Garretts from the little balcony outside her bedroom window. Content to watch the chaos of the Garretts’ lives, Sam never considered taking part in the chaos until one of the Garretts catches her watching.

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Sabrina’s Book Corner: Night Life

Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

Along for the Ride tells the story of Auden West. Ever since Auden’s parents divorced when she was little, she has been an insomniac. It sounds bad, but never sleeping has its advantages, such as extra study time.

When her parents divorced, Auden threw herself into academics and became a mini-adult so that she would not cause her parents any trouble. Auden doesn’t mind that she seems to have missed out on all the joys of childhood, since she has her outstanding academic record and scholarship to college. Now, all Auden has to figure out is what she is going to do with her summer.

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Sabrina’s Book Corner: Colors of the Spectrum

Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing Embrace by Jessica Shirvington.

Embrace tells the story of Violet Eden, who is having a weird start to her birthday. She wakes up from a nightmare with the same injuries she received in the dream, and a tattoo is crawling up her arm. Although her birthday is off to an odd start, Violet decides to act as if nothing strange is happening at all.

Violet meets up with her best friend Steph on the way to school, and they go over their plans for the night. After school, Violet and Steph go dress shopping to find the perfect birthday outfit, and then go meet Violet’s dad and Lincoln, whom Violet has had a crush on since they met. The problem is, Lincoln has never shown any interest in returning similar feelings.

Violet is determined to enjoy her birthday even with all of the weird things going on, but everything changes when Lincoln tells her that he is only half human. Surprise…so is she!

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Sabrina’s Book Corner: Summer for the Dogs

Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

Andie had her summer planned out months in advance. She was going to attend a prestigious summer program for high school students who want to major in pre-med. Just as Andie is about to leave for her program, disaster strikes. Andie’s father, a successful Congressman, gets hit with a scandal — he is accused of stealing money from his own charity.

Now, Andie is even more anxious to go to her summer program. Spending the summer locked in the house with her father is not in the plan, but when the program pulls her acceptance because of her father’s scandal, Andie is left without one.

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Sabrina’s Book Corner: Find Me

Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano.

Nearly is just trying to get into a good college. She is competing with her best friend, along with another student, for a full-ride science/chemistry scholarship. All three are evenly matched in academic achievement, so the scholarship will be awarded to the student who scores highest in the class.

Nearly follows her own rules: no bad grades, no trouble, and no touching. The rules have always served her well, until there is a murder at Nearly’s school and the killer seems to be calling her out.

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Sabrina’s Book Corner: Golden

Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner. This week we are going to be discussing The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. As some of you may know, The Outsiders celebrated its 50th anniversary this past November. And for the uninformed, The Outsiders is a much celebrated book, which was an incredibly important piece of fiction when it came out in 1967.

The Outsiders was revolutionary because it was written by a teenager, about teenagers, for teenagers. In fact, that was the original tagline when the book first came out. Some would say that The Outsiders was one of the first books in what would later become the young adult genre. The Outsiders is a book that has resonated with people of all ages over the last 50 years because of the relatable characters and strong themes.

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Book Review: “Career of Evil”

Today, something new from me — a book review! Recently, “Robert Galbraith” released a new novel entitled Career of Evil. In case you’re wondering why I placed quotation marks around this author’s name, Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling. A couple of years ago, she was unmasked as Galbraith, an identity she had assumed to publish her work without the massive attention that she usually gets for new writing. Even without the Rowling name, her first Galbraith novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, received praise. Now that she’s been revealed, though, as the mastermind behind these novels, the books are even more popular.

Career of Evil is the third novel in Rowling/Galbraith’s “Cormoran Strike” series, which follows London detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacot. In previous installments, Strike has found the killer of a supermodel and a famous author. In the first story, the police thought the supermodel’s murder was actually a suicide, and Strike proved them wrong. In the second novel, the author’s murder was quite grisly, and Strike’s detective work earned him further acclaim. This time around, Strike is a bit more personally involved in the case, which begins when someone sends Robin a severed leg through the mail.

Soon after the leg shows up, Strike already has four potential suspects in mind. All four of them are violent men from his past, and all four of them have reasons to discredit and harass Strike. The novel follows Strike as he investigates these potential murderers. We also follow Robin, who is gearing up for her wedding while being pursued by the man who sent her a severed leg.

In the acknowledgements that Rowling included in this novel, she said that she has likely never had as much fun writing something as she had while writing this. That sense of joy and wild writing abandon certainly comes off in the reading of this novel. I was pulled into the novel fairly easily, having already fallen in love with Rowling’s writing style. But it was the fast-paced, suspenseful plot that really kept me reading. Halfway through the book, I was literally having trouble concentrating at work because I was so preoccupied by the plot! The resolution was very satisfying, and it included a great twist that I definitely didn’t see coming.

If you were a fan of Harry Potter, but were disillusioned by Rowling’s Casual Vacancy, I would recommend checking out the Cormoran Strike novels. Here, Rowling is building another interesting world just like her Potter-verse (but with less magic, of course), with interesting characters and crackling plots.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

Monsters, Vegas, and Greek Gods

Lighting Thief Book Cover
Lighting Thief Book Cover

Hello readers and welcome back!

Today we are going to be talking about Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. This is a throwback for me because I first read The Lightning Thief in high school. This book is an oldie but a goody.

Percy Jackson, your normal American pre-teen, is about to be kicked out of boarding school. Again. Little does Percy know that he is actually not your normal American pre-teen. Percy is a demigod and he’s being accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

As if finding out you’re a demigod from your best friend (who just so happens to be a satyr) isn’t bad enough, while trying to get to a camp for demigods, Percy is attacked by a monster from Greek mythology. After arriving at Camp Half-blood, Percy finds out that he is being blamed for the theft of Zeus’ lightning bolt. With only ten days to clear his name before Percy gets smote by the gods, he, his best friend Grover (the satyr), and a daughter of Athena set out on an adventure to catch a thief.

Visiting everywhere from Las Vegas to the underworld, The Lightning Thief is one wild ride. Rick Riordan crafts a great new story about Greek mythology that is entertaining for everyone. If you’re looking for a quick read or a brief look into Greek mythology with a fun twist, The Lightning Thief is a good choice.

So happy reading everyone, and tune in next week for a new book review.

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor