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Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

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Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime depicts the life of his fascinating South African childhood. Now a renowned comedian and the host of the Daily Show, Noah’s autobiography is both fascinating as it is thrilling and comical.

Trevor was born during apartheid, a system of racial discrimination and segregation in South Africa that lasted from 1948 until 1991. Trevor was literally “Born a Crime.” He was the child of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa (an African tribe) mother. He was a mixed child who spent an abundant number of his childhood years, feeling like he did not know where he belonged.

He grew up poor, with an extremely frugal mother, who would even turn the car engine off at stop lights to save gas. However, despite their lack of money, Trevor’s mother raised Trevor to speak many different languages, which among them were those of multiple African Tribes. The ability to speak all these languages, allowed Trevor to communicate with a variety of different peoples, which helped him earn a sense of welcomeness and belonging into their communities.

Trevor grew up learning to weave through the cracks of apartheid and discovered unique and clever ways to make money at school, like buying snacks for other kids while keeping a profit for himself. He became a successful CD mixer and then later a popular DJ around his neighborhood.

His story, although tough and at times saddening, is inspiring and remarkable. Trevor made his way from the very bottom and rightfully earned where he is today. Born A Crime miraculously shows that anything is possible, no matter who you are or where you are born.

5/4 stars!

-India Houghton

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Wild by Cheryl Strayed

This book is about a woman who decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (P.C.T). The P.C.T is a trail that goes from Mexico, through the Mojave Desert, through the Sierra Nevada range where it meets up with the John Muir trail in Yosemite. The P.C.T. than continues on to end in Washington. Cheryl Strayed takes you on this adventure with her, on the trail. Before she decides to do this hike, her mother passes away and she gets divorced. Everything in her life seems to be falling apart and the book takes up a melancholy tone.

She gets her friend to drive her to Mexico and drop her at a hotel, not far from the trailhead. She carries bags of the things she will put into her backpack that she is taking with her and finds herself unable to pick the bag up. Cheryl was inexperienced with an over weight pack and a two thousand, six hundred and sixty four mile hike ahead of her.

Her writing style was very interactive. She used a lot of her own thoughts and emotions to narrate the book and it made me feel like I was right there beside her. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a taste for adventure. This read was enticing and, although dark, began to pick up pace. I am excited to finish this book and see what happens to Cheryl next.

 

  • Sophie Felici

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Brave Story

Brave

Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe is a compelling and deep story about a young boy named Wataru who struggles with grasping his new reality when his dad runs off with another woman and his mom attempts to commit suicide. The talk of ghost stories at school leads him to investigate the abandoned building on the shrine grounds, where he accidentally stumbles into the world of vision. The gates of this world only open for 90 days every ten years. Nobody in this world will take him seriously, even his beloved Uncle Lou tries to assure him always that everything is okay. But Wataru has a chance to fix his family and restore balance in his life if he can find the goddess of faith. This well thought out fantasy novel is intricate, detailed, and one of the best books to dive into and not surface from for days. Translated from Japanese to English, and so far one of the best and most eye-opening books I have ever read. I would recommend this book to more skilled readers because of its length. I give this book a 4/4 rating.

-Becky King

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The ABC Murders

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie is murder mystery that is hard to put down. There is a serial killer on the loose.The point of view switches between Poirot the detective and his assistants. Poirot keeps getting notes from the killer with clues of the next place his victim will be and when the murder will take place. All of these notes are signed ABC, and at all the crime scenes there is an ABC Railway handbook. As the book goes on, the detectives make the connection that the killer is going through the alphabet. He starts with murdering Mrs. Ascher in Andover, then Betty in Bexhill, and the list goes on. So far in the book, it seems the people the criminal kills are random, they all have different jobs and lives and have no relation to each other. The killer is teasing Poirot with notes and obvious clues that are somehow impossible to connect.

So far I am really enjoying the book. I don’t usually read murder mysteries, and I am surprised by how much I like this one. I recommend this book to anyone who likes making connections and predictions about books and anyone who likes mysteries. I think it is a must read because Agatha Christie was one of the most widely published authors of all time.

Lauren Marler

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Because You’ll Never Meet Me

BcA sad yet amazing novel of two best friends, Because You’ll Never Meet Me, by author Leah Thomas is a story of two loners who are both ostracized from society and are suggested to start writing to each other. Ollie, who is deathly allergic to electricity, and Mortiz, who needs a pacemaker to stay alive, can never meet. The electricity in Mortiz’s pacemaker would kill Ollie, and if he were to turn it off that would kill him. The optimistic forest hermit and gloomy city hermit help each other through the darkened parts of their lives and create a special connection only two hermits could have. Mortiz is plagued by the daily taunts of his classmates while Ollie describes the girl he’s madly in love with who stopped visiting. Their different outlooks on the world shine new light on each other’s problems and combat the loneliness they both face daily.

This is a truly interesting novel, read through the letters of the two hermits sent back and forth, you fall in love with the characters and the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt lonely. I love this book and would give it a 4/4.

-Becky King

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The Happiness Makeover by M.J. Ryan

The Happiness Makeover is a book filled with very helpful information on how to make your life more happy and lived to the fullest. The author, M.J. Ryan, has spent twelve years doing extensive research on what makes people happy, why some people are happy and other are not, what can we do to make ourselves happy, and so much more just to list off a few. The book covers that happiness is a choice, and to chose to be happy you have to have a positive, optimistic outlook on life. It is a very fascinating book that has been very helpful and opened my eyes on a new view of the world. It talks about important lessons on what can block and be a wall to your happiness like always having to be right, or having to have everything perfect. I, personally, struggle with both of these things and am now working on letting things go to be more happy. 

Grace Guthrie

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The Happiness Makeover by M. J. Ryan

The Happiness Makeover is a book filled with very helpful information on how to make your life more happy and lived to the fullest. The author, M.J. Ryan, has spent twelve years doing extensive research on what makes people happy, why some people are happy and other are not, what can we do to make ourselves happy, and so much more just to list off a few. The book covers that happiness is a choice, and to chose to be happy you have to have a positive, optimistic outlook on life. It is a very fascinating book that has been very helpful and opened my eyes on a new view of the world. It talks about important lessons on what can block and be a wall to your happiness like always having to be right, or having to have everything perfect. I, personally, struggle with both of these things and am now working on letting things go to be more happy. I would highly recommend this book if you want to be happy, there are also quizzes online that you can take which are related to the book, which are fun to do.

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