Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Break, by Hannah Moskowitz

Jonah is 17 years old and his goal is to break every bone in his body so they can grow back stronger. Jonah's family is falling apart; he needs the strength. His 16 year old brother, Jesse, is allergic to almost everything and has horrible reactions to half the stuff in their house, and Jonah spends his days worrying about him. Naomi, Jonah's best friend, records all of Jonah's stunts as he attempts to break his bones, but she doesn't know the reason behind it. Nobody knows. When Jonah's friend Charlotte finds out about his unique form of self harm, she decides to get him some help and he ends up in a psych ward. Will Jonah give up on his disturbing goal, or will he continue hurting himself and his family?

When I first picked up this book, I thought the plot was very unique. Disturbing, but unique. I didn't expect to enjoy the book as much as I did. I loved the characters and I definitely got attached to Jonah and Jesse the most. I liked the brotherly bond they had; instead of being cliche siblings who don't get along, they were the opposite. Jonah and Jesse loved each other and were always there for each other, which isn't common. I also thought Jonah and his breaking bones issue was interesting, because it was a new type of self harm that I had never heard or read about. Overall, Break by Hannah Moskowitz was a very original book, a quick read, and I would recommend it to teenagers who like reading about conflicted characters with somewhat dysfunctional families.

Reviewed by Maggie P., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Big Girl, by Danielle Steel

http://catalog.gpl.internal/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=13R1559E10E50.61418&profile=gcent&uri=link=3100007~!1091201~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=12&source=~!horizon&term=Big+girl+%3A+a+novel+%2F&index=PALLTI#focusA chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender, and her mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired beauty. Both are self-centered, outspoken, and disappointed by their daughter’s looks. When Victoria is six, she sees a photograph of Queen Victoria, and her father has always said she looks just like her. After the birth of Victoria’s perfect younger sister, Gracie, her father liked to refer to his firstborn as “our tester cake.” With Gracie, everyone agreed that Jim and Christina got it right.

The book Big Girl, by Danielle Steel, made me so sad for a couple of reasons. The main character has a weight problem. It's sad how this is such a HUGE problem in our society. Her parents don't like or support her because she doesn't look like them. This book is also very inspiring. Her story made me realize that you do not have to be skinny to be successful and loved in life. You will find that one, who makes you feel like you're the most beautiful person in the world.

Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library