Dear Evan Hansenby Val Emmich with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul is a novelization adapted from a Broadway musical.
In case you missed the buzz, it was nominated for nine Tony awards, ultimately winning six including the 2017 Tony award for Best Musical. Not to mention winning a 2018 Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Dear Evan Hansen is all about fitting in. It is centered on Evan Hansen, a high school senior, who feels like an outsider in his own life. After a tragedy, Evan is involved in a misunderstanding which quickly snowballs from one lie into a web of deception. Along the way, Evan realizes lots of people, including many of his classmates, just want to be seen.
I approached this book with skepticism. Doubting that the author could translate the message and feeling of the performance, in which music is so integral, to the written page. Boy, was I wrong. This book grabbed me. It is messy and heavy and angsty, all aspects familiar to young adults.
For those of you who have seen the musical and are worried the story might be stale, the book includes additional material that was cut from the show which expands on the storyline.
If you are looking for a book about high school with depth and all the feels, I highly recommend taking a heady dive into Dear Evan Hansen. Find it in the Teen section of the HS/Adult fiction.
If you do not have the chance to see the musical, be sure to visit YouTube to check out some performance clips.
Elle is an American teen who is down on her luck. This isn’t the bad grade, missed curfew, wrecked a car kind of luck. It is the non-present dad, mom in jail, living in foster care, life is tough – kind of a break. But like a fairy tale, Elle is given the opportunity to move to Tokyo to live with her wealthy hotel tycoon father.
Elle navigates culture shock and tries to discover what her place is in an unfamiliar country, as a student in her elite international school, and as a member of a new family. While encountering different expectations, cultural practices, and traditions, Elle struggles to reconcile her past with her present. Given the opportunity to reinvent herself, Elle finds a place among the popular group where she has to choose whether she will stay true to herself.
I found the characters entertaining and at the end of the book I wanted to know more about their stories. Currently, though this is just a standalone novel.
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is relevant not only to the members of an international student body but to anyone who has moved to a new place and had to figure out how to fit in. Find it in the Teen section of the HS/Adult fiction.
I picked up The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon while browsing, expecting it to be a light summer read about a bookstore and its workers. The story begins with Michelle, meeting and befriending Anna after a mishap in a local café. Anna is a new stepmom, overwhelmed with the life change, who is eager to play matchmaker. Michelle is a new to town businesswoman who is reinventing herself, but there is more to her then she is willing to share.
The initial impression I got was the story would be of the Hallmark meets Lifetime Channel variety. The formula being: girl meets boy, there is a misunderstanding, girl and boy do not get along, they eventually fall in love, then add in a stalker husband. Sure there are all these elements but so much more. This book is really about the friendship between Michelle and Anna. It examines friend and family dynamics, particularly how supportive and understanding can friends really be when they are in different life stages.
If you are looking for an easy read with a bit of heart (without the sap) then The Secret of Happy Ever After might be for you! Find it in the Popular section of the HS/Adult fiction.
The minute you stop talking about individuals and start talking about a group, your judgment has a flaw in it.
“Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan drew my interest when I saw it displayed outside the AAS library before summer break. I was intrigued by the title and cover and decided to pick it up. To be honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy the book. I was proved wrong; this was a beautiful story!
Once I got a few chapters into the story I couldn’t put it down. It took a couple chapters for me to get to know the many characters and to realize that the story is narrated by people who had died from AIDS.
Craig and Harry are trying to break the world record for the longest kiss- over 32 hours! This sets the stage for the other characters in the story: a longtime couple, a couple who has just met and a boy who feels alone. The book follows 32+ hours in the lives and emotions of each character. It was both uplifting and heartbreaking- a story that really makes you think and appreciate all that life offers.
“Two Boys Kissing” was a beautiful story. Inspirational not only to gay teens, but to anyone who has ever felt different or wanted to be different.
Add this young adult novel to your reading list!
Two Boys Kissing is available now in the Djupedal library (FIC LEV).
Normalcy is a lie invented by advertising agencies to make the rest of us feel feel inferior.
“Epic Fail” by Claire LaZebnik is a modern, young adult love story inspired by “Pride and Prejudice.”
Elise is the daughter of the new principal at an upscale private high school in LA. Derek is the son of Hollywood stars. When Elise’s sister catches the eye of Derek’s best friend, Elise and Derek start spending time together. Elise refuses to fall for his Hollywood charm and instead warms up to his enemy. Will Elise find true love?
This is a funny and romantic book about fitting in, flirting and love. It is a quick read and a lot of fun. On a more personal note, “Epic Fail” also had me thinking about how my kids, both “teacher kids” would find their way when they get to high school!
I would definitely suggest this one for a romance lover!
Epic Fail is available now in the Djupedal library (FIC LAZ).