Fireside Book Reviews


Photo by Carissa Vergeres

Freshmen Angela Gutierrez, Morgan Krens and Colin Heffern reading Me Before You and The Hate U Give.

Written by Carissa Vergeres and Mia Cammarota

The air is becoming colder and the days are getting shorter. When trapped indoors with nothing to do, the spot in front of your fireplace is waiting for you. Pass the months of winter by getting lost in a book, whether it be realistic fiction, romance, or a biography. The Hate U Give, Me Before You, and Unbroken are all highly praised, and the missing pieces of your cozy winter day.

The Hate U Give, written by Angie Thomas, is a realistic fiction book that tackles universal topics in today’s society. Protagonist, Starr Carter leads two separate lives, one at her upscale school outside of town, and the other in her poor neighborhood. After her childhood best friend, Khalil, is shot at the hands of a police officer, Starr’s two worlds start to collide making Khalil’s death a national concern. Starr is the only one who witnessed everything that happened, and now her every word impacts the whole community.

Librarian Mr. Robert Kane describes the book as, “A compelling story, that makes you want to know what was happening to the people, while covering a relatively current topic.” When you care about the characters in the book and feel a connection with them, that’s when you find yourself not being able to put the book down.

Me Before You, written by Jojo Moyes is a romance book that is about Louisa Clark, a working class 26 year old with a quirky style, and Will Traynor, a thrill seeker and successful businessman. Will’s life is everything he’d ever wanted it to be until he gets hit by a motorcycle causing him to be paralyzed from the chest down with minimum use of his hands. This is when Louisa comes into the picture earning a job to overall make his life more enjoyable. She has six months to show him that life is still worth living, and as they go through their adventures together they start to fall for eachother.

“I liked the ending of the book because it was different than other books, in the way that you can predict the ending from the beginning, in Me Before You it is unexpected,” says sophomore Peyton Tarrant. This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to fall in love with a story, and the characters in it. On a cold winter day, warm in front of your fire you won’t be able to put it down. Me Before You is an emotional roller coaster that will have you wanting more even when it’s over.

Unbroken, a biography by Laura Hillenbrand is about Olympian Louie Zamperini, who went from running in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to fighting in World War ll in just four years. Zamperini overcame extraordinary things that takes a specific type of person to endure such harsh conditions. The first hardship he runs into is the war where he is shot down in the Pacific Ocean, and survived on a raft for 47 days. He then was found by the Japanese, and lived in prison camps for the following two years. He was starved and beaten daily, and the fact that he was an Olympic distance runner only made things harder for him. Unbroken is a heart aching true story that is difficult to read with everything that occurs, so prepare yourself for this captivating true story. There is nothing like it, and you’ll be rooting for Louie Zamperini the whole way through.

Librarian Mrs. Sherry O’Connor says, “What’s uplifting about it is the resilience of the character… To think that he survived all that he experienced is nothing short of astonishing.” Each of these books are from a different genre, so there is an option for everyone. In the middle of winter when you feel like you’ve seen every show Netflix has to offer, try diving into one of these stories. They have been recommended by students in Woodgrove, and will be an essential in this coming season. Make sure to pick up one or all of these books in the school library to start your perfect winter day.