Teen Book Review: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Book Review By Jasmine Roeder

The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthrone

 

          I have just finished reading The Scarlet Letter and enjoyed reading the book. I got the book as a class project, and I didn’t think I would like it at all, but I do. The book takes concentration though and you need to ensure that you understand what you are reading without moving on. If you need help understanding something, I would either look up some notes to help you online or just re-read them. Once you get through the chapters, the book becomes really good and shows a lot of different symbols and lessons throughout the book. The Scarlet Letter is about a woman who had an affair with a man known as a holy man who never does anything wrong. One day she ends up pregnant from the affair and has the child, and then months later, she is found guilty in front of everyone and is punished. Her former husband, Roger Chillingworth, then comes home from being away overseas, and she is in this big mess over her child named Pearl, the former husband, and her lover named Rev. Dimmesdale, and she doesn’t know what to do. She is told to keep secrets of her husband and lover, and then people try to take her child away from her. No one wants to go near her because, in this book, having a child before marriage and having it with another man is one of the most horrible things you can ever do as a sin. What is Pearl going to do when she isn’t going to have a normal childhood because of her mother’s sins and when she has a lot of questions for her mother that aren’t answered? She is so confused because everyone always talks wrong about her mother, looks at her like she did something, and is always so confused. If you seem interested in this review, check out The Scarlet Letter, and you will not be disappointed.

 

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2022 Reading Challenge: Magical Realism

Have you started any of our three reading challenges for 2022?
If you’re participating in the category-based reading challenge, either by using the tracking sheet or on Beanstack, we can help you find books in each of the categories.

Today we’re featuring Magical Realism books! What is Magical Realism? The genre of Magical Realism usually refers to books where the fantastical and surreal and combined with the ordinary. They usually have a realistic narrative, except there is a little bit of extraordinary added in.

Below are just a few Magical Realism recommendations, but these aren’t the only books we have available in this category. They are just ideas that can help you spark inspiration, help clarify the category, and (hopefully) make your decision easier.

 

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

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In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.

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A spellbinding tale of magical realism, where twelve-year-old Lottie’s colorful world turns suddenly gray when an unexpected accident claims her parents, and she is uprooted from her home to live with an eccentric uncle she never knew she had—on the border that separates the living and the dead.

Lottie lives in Vivelle—the heart of a vibrant city where life exists in brilliant technicolor and nearly everyone has magic. And Lottie is no exception; she can paint pictures to life in every shade and hue imaginable. But at the sudden loss of her parents, all the color is stripped from Lottie’s heart and the world around her. Taken in by her reclusive, eccentric uncle, Lottie moves into Forsaken, his vast manor located in the gray wasteland between the Land of the Living and Ever After, the land of the dead.

The discovery of a locked-up garden, a wise cardinal, a hidden boy, and a family whose world is full of color despite the bleakness around them begins to pull at the threads of what it means to live in such a near-dead place, slowly returning some of the color to Lottie’s private world and giving her hope that life is worth living and experiencing fully, even while one carries sorrow.

But as time runs out, Lottie must find a way to thaw both the world and the hearts of her uncle, cousin, and those she has come to know and love in her new home, or all of Forsaken—including Lottie herself—will be absorbed by Ever After long before their time.

An exquisitely written, richly imagined, stunning portrait of love and loss, magic and hope; a true celebration of the strength we all possess to transcend tragedy—and the gifts that make life worth living.

 

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An enchanting tale filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go.

Between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.

Right off the coast of South Carolina, on Mallow Island, The Dellawisp sits—a stunning old cobblestone building shaped like a horseshoe, and named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.

When Zoey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at the Dellawisp she meets her quirky and secretive neighbors, including a young woman with a past, two estranged middle-aged sisters, and a lonely chef, and three ghosts. The sudden death of one of Zoey’s new neighbors sets off a search that leads to the island’s famous author and to a long-estranged relative of the sisters.
Each of them has a story, and each story has an ending which hasn’t yet been written.

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In this young adult novel by award-winning author Anna-Marie McLemore, two non-binary teens are pulled into a magical world under a lake – but can they keep their worlds above water intact?

Everyone who lives near the lake knows the stories about the world underneath it, an ethereal landscape rumored to be half-air, half-water. But Bastián Silvano and Lore Garcia are the only ones who’ve been there. Bastián grew up both above the lake and in the otherworldly space beneath it. Lore’s only seen the world under the lake once, but that one encounter changed their life and their fate.

Then the lines between air and water begin to blur. The world under the lake drifts above the surface. If Bastián and Lore don’t want it bringing their secrets to the surface with it, they have to stop it, and to do that, they have to work together. There’s just one problem: Bastián and Lore haven’t spoken in seven years, and working together means trusting each other with the very things they’re trying to hide.

 

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Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.

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A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing—and for the conjuring of curses—are at the heart of this dazzling first novel

Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife; and their master’s daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.

Magnificently written, brilliantly researched, richly imagined, Conjure Women moves back and forth in time to tell the haunting story of Rue, Varina, and May Belle, their passions and friendships, and the lengths they will go to save themselves and those they love.

 

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The Sentence asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book.

A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Sentence begins on All Souls’ Day 2019 and ends on All Souls’ Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.

 

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Need more inspiration? Check out a list of more Magical Realism books here!

 

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Books to Movies Coming This December

Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2022) - IMDb

A new school year, his brother Rodrick teases him over and over and over and over again. Will Greg manage to get along with him? Or will a secret ruin everything?

Dec 2nd /Disney + /Put on Hold

Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello

Spoiler Alert (film) - Wikipedia

The story of Michael Ausiello and Kit Cowan’s relationship that takes a tragic turn when Cowan is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Dec 2nd / Theatres

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (2022) - IMDb

A supernatural, time-travelling, musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’s cult Christmas story

Dec 2nd /Netflix/ Put on Hold

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's Lover (2022) - IMDb

An unhappily married aristocrat begins a torrid affair with the gamekeeper on her husband’s country estate.

Dec 2nd/ Netflix/ Put on Hold

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny

(Show titled Three Pines)

Following Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he investigates cases beneath the idyllic surface of the Quebec village, Three Pines, finding long-buried secrets and facing a few ghosts of his own.

Dec 2nd/ Amazon / Put on Hold

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

(season two of the show)

Tully and Kate support each other through good times and bad with an unbreakable bond that carries them from their teens to their forties.

Dec 2nd/ Netflix/ Put on Hold

Something from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

Something from Tiffany's (2022) - IMDb

Follows a woman as her life gets upended when an engagement ring that was for someone else leads her to the person she’s meant to be with.

Dec 9th/ Amazon 

The Adventures of Pinocchio by C. Collodi

The Adventures of PinocchioPinocchio (2022 animated film) - Wikipedia

A father’s wish magically brings a wooden boy to life in Italy, giving him a chance to care for the child.

Dec 9th/ Netflix/ Put on Hold

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Women TalkingWomen Talking (2022) - IMDb

In 2010, the women of an isolated religious community grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith.

Dec 12th/ Theatres/ Put on Hold

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred Series Releases an Intense Official Trailer

A young aspiring writer discovers secrets about her family’s past when she finds herself mysteriously being pulled back and forth in time to a 19th century plantation.

Dec 13th/ Hulu/ Put on Hold

Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy

(Season three of the tv show)

Jack Ryan' Season 3: The Trailer, Premiere Date & More Updates – Hollywood  Life
Up-and-coming CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, is thrust into a dangerous field assignment after he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit.

Dec 21st/ Amazon/ Put on Hold

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda the Musical (2022) - IMDb

An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.

Dec 25th/ Netflix/ Put on Hold

White Noise by Don DeLillo

White Noise (2022) - IMDb

Dramatizes a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.

Dec 30th/ Netflix/ Put on Hold

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