High school...it can a time filled with memory or horror. These two books really hit home about teens navigating through the shark infested waters of high school trying to find a lifeboat to help them. Alice and Leonard are clinging to hope, but don't think these two characters aren't tough as nails either. They are fighters but in their own ways. These novels have a dark slice of life outlook but couple it with variations of redemption, and the novels become powerful...
He also has a present for the most brilliant violinist Leonard's ever heard, an Iranian student named Baback, who allows Leonard in when he practices. He plans on giving one to Lauren, the girl who stole his heart while handing out religious tracts near the subway.
Herr Silverman, Leonard's favorite teacher who stymies him with the reason why he dresses the way he does and is the one encourager in his life, will also get a present But it's Asher Beal, Leonard's once best friend, who will get the biggest and baddest present...he deserves it for how he treats Leonard every day at school. It's what's in those presents, both bad and good, reflecting why Leonard is making this his last day on earth.
Matthew Quick writes a powerful novel of the conflicting mind of
teenager with brilliance, bringing into light his main character's life through various literary devices, including verse, letters from a dystopian future, and footnotes giving insight into Leonard's psyche which runs deeper than anyone could possibly imagine. This is a MUST read! Highly recommended for high school. Hatchette, 2013 (on YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults; TAYSHAS list, 2014)
Jennifer Mathieu does two things in the novel creating a powerful story. Not only does she weave four voices to paint a picture with different perspectives, but she also subtly inserts Alice into the entire story, showing her strengths and weaknesses and how this entire thing affects her life. You can't get any closer to a real life scenario about high school and how ugly it can be than you can with this book which shows how words can make or break a teen. Highly recommended for high school Roaring Brook Press, 2014