by Elsa Stoff
worthy of attention; striking
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan is a revamped version of history. The premise of the novel is World War I with a steampunk twist. Westerfield spins an intriguing world where the allies, or Darwinists, used genetically fabricated beasts as weapons, while the axis powers, known as the Clankers, built their society upon steamships and steel war machines. This unique history is seen through the adventures of Deryn Sharp, a British girl posing as a boy to join the army, and Alek, the fugitive son of Archduke Ferdinand. Their story grabs you in. Also, Westerfield’s beasts and machines come to life through Keith Thompson’s art which accompanies the novel. Despite the slightly low reading level, Leviathan is an extremely fun read for all. How can you resist a story about a giant whale in the sky?
playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way
Franney and Zooey by JD Salinger
Everyone relates to Holden Caulfield, yet not as many high school students read Franney and Zooey. Don’t miss finding yourself reflected in the youngest children of the Glass family. Salinger’s unique writing style and voice will echo in readers’ mind long after they finish reading it. The dialogue is extremely real. The book consists of only four scenes, yet it still manages to be entertaining. Also, for those who have read Salinger’s Nine Stories, you’ll recognize Franney and Zooey’s oldest brother. Franney and Zooey undertakes a wonderful tone with themes of maturity and hope.
Witty /ˈwitē, /
Paper Towns by John Green
If you haven’t read this one, then you’ve been missing out. Paper Town’s is my anthem. I’ve read it multiple times, and each time, John Green’s wit and quirky characters never cease to surprise me. Quentin Jacobsen is almost done with high school when he is whisked on a humorous journey by his perfect neighbor, Margo Roth Speigelman. The next day, she is missing. Q decides to find Margo from the poetic clues she left behind. Throughout the mission, Q discovers that Margo is not how he imagined her, and that we shouldn’t look at others as More Than Human. There are parts of the novel which will have you laughing out loud (a feat few books have achieved, rather than making me internally chuckle), and others will make you deeply consider humanity. Paper Towns is a brilliant read which you will never forget.
Eccentric /ikˈsentrik, /
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
This apocalyptic satire is an amazing read. Vonnegut adds dark humor to a story about a different religion called Bokonon and the inventor of the atom bomb. The narrator, John, is writing a book about Felix Hoenniker, the inventor of the atom bomb, when his life’s path collides with Hoenikker’s eccentric children. The result is a ridiculous tale involving the end of the world and discovering the people who create our destinies.
Romantic /rōˈmantik, rə-, /
inclined toward or suggestive of the feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love
Stephanie Perkins premiers as an author with this cute and thoughtful novel about a girl spending her senior year in Paris. The main characters Anna Oliphant and Etienne St. Clair’s relationship is fleshed out, and the book transcends the shallow stereotype of young adult romance. The characters are interesting. Though the book is not perfect or extremely profound, it’s a fun and interesting read. I look forward to what this first-time publisher will write in the future.
Pragmatic /pragˈmatik, /
dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations
Ship Breaker by Poalo Bacigualpi
Ship Breaker takes a harsh, yet scarily realistic look at our potential future. The main character, Nailer, lives on a small island whose occupants live by breaking up and scavenging ships (primarily oil tankers). Our society’s oil usage has devastated our planet, such as the dissolving of the Caribbean islands which buffer hurricanes before they hit the United States. It truly reflects modern society by utilizing problems that perpetuate throughout our lives. It shows affects of global warming, and even touches on the genetic progressions we’re making and what they will mean to us through the half men. Not only is Ship Breaker’s action exciting, but it’s interesting to look at what this story suggests about the way we live now.
Definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary