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Book Review

  • Books

    That Was Then, This Is Now

    That Was Then, This Is Now

    That Was Then, This Is Now

    A Review of A Classic Tale

    That Was Then, This Is Now by, S.E. Hinton is a coming of age story about two best friends with a bond like brothers.

    Set in the 1960s, the book centers around two teenage boys, Bryon and Mark. The boys spend much of their time at a bar, owned by their older friend, Charlie, and often hustle pool. Mark lives with Bryon and his mom, but the family’s financial situation is steadily growing worse due to Bryon’s mother needing some medical help. The boys struggle to find jobs, and Mark is bringing home suspicious amounts of money. 

    The boys have very different personalities and have gotten into a lot of mischief in their youth. But Bryon starts to change and mature, he starts thinking more about his future and whom he wants to be. Mark, however, does not, and this starts to cause problems between them.

    Other characters we meet are M&M, a young free-spirited kid with big gray eyes; Angela, Bryon’s ex-girlfriend; Mike, a kid they had visited in the hospital, and who’s story really affects Bryon; and Cathy, the older sister of M&M and love interest of Bryon. Cathy is part of the reason Bryon start to mature. He had never been serious about a girl before and being with Cathy is starting to change him for the better.

    One of my favorite parts of this book is the way the title fits into the story. It is brought up twice in the book, but the most significant way its mentioned is at the end. I won’t go into detail for the sake of not spoiling the ending but trust me when I tell you that it will send shivers down your spine. Hinton brilliantly depicts growing up and entering adulthood. She shows us how your life changes gradually, and how it can change overnight. If you enjoy coming of age stories as much I do, then I highly recommend That Was Then, This Is Now.     

  • Books

    Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    Girlspring book review, a court of thorn and roses

    What do you get when you cross popular fairy tales with fantasy-fiction?

    You get a book series by Sarah J. Maas. She takes a new spin to classic fairy tales with her series A Court of Thorns and Roses. The first novel, A Court of Thorns and Roses, is based on the concept of Beauty and the Beast. The second novel, A Court of Mist and Fury, follows the story of Hades and Persephone. The third installment, A Court of Wings and Ruin, is based off the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

    As the first novel, A Court of Thorns and Roses, unfolds, the reader is introduced to numerous plot twists and heart-breaking situations.

    The story follows Feyre, a nineteen-year-old girl trying to live her life in the harshest of conditions.

    One morning, as she is trying to provide for her family, she shoots down a stray wolf. Something off about this wolf, but her need to feed her family took precedent as she pulled back the bow and arrow.

    After shooting the wolf, Feyre finds herself in a foreign land reigned by Fae. She spends months captive by the High Lord of the Spring Court, one of the many High Lords in all of Prythian. Maas uses mysterious beings in a way that makes them seem just as vulnerable as humans, despite their superior power.

    Feyre faces constant struggles with abuse, eating disorders, self-awareness, and bodily changes over the three-book series.

    You will not feel like you are being lectured on how these issues affect people, instead, you will feel as though you are suffering along with her. There will not be a moment where you do not relate to at least one of the characters and find yourself understanding all their feelings and actions.

    Sarah J. Maas has a way with character development that brought tears to my eyes more than once. I 100% recommend this book series to any book-lovers and book-haters alike. I think if you must endure reading a single novel for a book report, Maas should be your go-to author.

    This series is LGBTQ+ inclusive and has an air of horror, mystery, romance, and fantasy.

    If you need a good book for December break, I recommend this one. Check out a more in-depth synopsis here: http://sarahjmaas.com/court-of-thorns-and-roses/

  • Books, GirlSpring.com

    The Book Thief – Book Review

    Introducing, Bella the Book Fairy, our new contributor to GirlSpring. You can follow her on Instagram, @bellathebookfairy! Here is her book review of The Book Thief!

    The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak,

    is a beautifully written masterpiece, which I believe every human should read at least once in their lifetime. The Book Thief takes place in Molching, a fictional town in Germany during WWII, and it centers around a young girl named Liesel who lives with her foster parents and how she became the book thief.

    One prominent feature of this book is the fact that the narrator is Death himself. However, this is not as creepy as it may seem! Death is in no way the dark, menacing figure that we most often envision him to be, in this book he is droll and quite tender, showing sympathy towards the souls he carries away.

    Something I love about this book is how unique all the characters are and their relationships with each other. One relationship that I particularly love is between our main character, Liesel and her accordion-playing foster father, Hans Huberman. Firstly, Hans is one of my favorite characters in this book, his relationship with Liesel is very pure and sweet. He is extremely loving and patient with her and teaches her many things, but most importantly, he teaches her how to read.

    Other characters in our story include Rudy,

    Liesel’s best friend who has lemon-colored hair and is obsessed with the athlete, Jesse Owens. Rosa Huberman, Liesel’s foster mother, is loud, swearing, and stern. Rosa is a force to be reckoned with but despite her harshness, loves Liesel very much! Also, then there is Max Vandenburg, the Jewish man that the Hubermans are hiding in their basement, it’s wonderful to see how the relationship between him and Liesel grows and becomes quite endearing. Another character we meet is Ilsa Hermann, the mayor’s wife; the loss of her son has left her a mess, and it is something she is still trying to overcome. It is from her private library that Liesel steals many books.

    Zusak is wonderfully descriptive in a brilliant way, skillfully depicting each scene in such a way that you will always feel as if you are living inside the book.

    His writing draws you into the story, erecting intense sadness and joy in all the twists and turns, and attaches you to the lovable characters. The Book Thief is my favorite book, and I hope that you read it and enjoy it just as much as I did!