Teen Review – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Reviewed by Emily Brenner

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a book from the perspective of an ordinary teenage boy, Greg Gaines. In a typical high school full of bullies and cliques, Greg figures the best way to get through his senior year is to keep an insanely low profile and to become acquaintances with just about everyone, making sure not just to stick to one friend group. However, Greg’s life changes entirely when his mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This book, which has been said to be “the funniest book you’ll ever read about death,” combines realistic scenarios with relatable characters, making it easy for the readers to connect with the story. The author, Jesse Andrews, does an incredible job bringing humor, heart, and fun to an authentic story of a leukemia fighter. I would recommend this book because it’s a great book to make you laugh and the plot is very fast-paced and compelling. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars would be a comparable novel to read if you enjoyed this book, as well as his An Abundance of Katherines. You may also enjoy If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

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Teen Review – A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

Reviewed by Emily Brenner

A Work in Progress is a heartfelt memoir written by Connor Franta at twenty-two years old. As a YouTuber, Franta has faced a plethora of struggles such as friend drama, sexuality, labels, finding happiness, and finding his true identity in the midst of all the madness—fairly common struggles in today’s society and relatable to a range of readers. Throughout the book, Franta recalls specific memories and events from his past to tell his story and follows with pieces of advice and wisdom he’s learned through the years. His compelling story and the artistic nature of the book draws readers deeper into his story. As an avid photographer as well, Franta also includes multiple photographs from his childhood to tell the story, as well as more recent photographs he’s taken on his adventures across the country. I would recommend this book because the advice given is relative to today’s world and makes you question the way you live your life. Are you truly happy? Are you living to your highest potential? This biography changes your perspective on the world and your outlook on life overall. If you enjoy this book, I would recommend Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, a novel full of great life advice and a similar feeling. Franta has also just released another book titled Note to Self, where he dives deeper into his individual struggles and how best to deal with them.


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Teen Review – This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends by Marilee Nijkamp

Reviewed by Emily Brenner

This Is Where It Ends is a suspenseful and riveting novel that takes place at a small-town high school in the midst of a school shooting. In each chapter, four relative students in four different situations around the school tell their story and each find a way to get out or try and stop the shooter. The story takes place over an hour long time period, making it hard for readers to put the book down and leaving them desperate for answers. The author, Marilee Nijkamp, uses heart-wrenching characters as well as fear, trust, and heroism, leaving everyone awe-struck and broken-hearted. I would recommend this book because the compelling story line really makes you question our society today and leaves you thinking about the book long after you’re finished. The characters are easy to fall in love with as well. If you enjoy a chilling, hair-raising novel packed with courage and strength, you won’t be able to put this one down. While Nijkamp currently doesn’t have any other books out, Feral Youth—a similar story of survival—is expected to be released in the fall of 2017 and Before I Let Go—also a similar novel by Nijkamp—will be released at the beginning of 2018.

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Hooked on Hamilton? We can help!

Have you caught the Hamilton craze? If so, APL has your back, with plenty of Hamilton-inspired books to sate your craving while you wait for your chance to see the musical yourself…

Check these out:

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

The biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the insanely popular musical!  “Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.”

Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life by Jeff Wilser

For history buffs and pop-culture addicts alike, this mix of biography, humor, and advice offers a fresh take on a nearly forgotten Founding Father, and will spark a revolution in your own life.

War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation by John Sedgwick

A series of letters between Burr and Hamilton suggests the duel was fought over an unflattering comment made at a dinner party. But another letter, written by Hamilton the night before the event, provides critical insight into his true motivation. It was addressed to former Speaker of the House Theodore Sedgwick, a trusted friend of both men. John Sedgwick suggests that Hamilton saw Burr not merely as a personal rival but as a threat to the nation. It was a fear that would prove justified after Hamilton s death…

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto.

The Hamilton Affair: A Novel by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa De la Cruz

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.  Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man.



And if you can already sing along to every song, check out the Hamilton Mix Tape (for free on Spotify), which features favorite songs covered by a variety of artists, from Usher to Sia to Jimmy Fallon.

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