The Firstenberger Chronicles

Summer Must Reads

Review of "Orphan Train" by Olivia Mett

The novel Orphan Train written by Christina Baker Kline is one of my all time favorite novels. Kline is able to brilliantly switch back and forth between the viewpoints of 17-year old Molly in 2011 and 11-year old Vivian in 1926-1929. In this work of historical fiction, Molly is a juvenile delinquent who is introduced to Vivian, a 91- year old lady who lives in Spruce Harbor, Maine. Vivian and Molly meet through Molly’s long term boyfriend, Jack when Molly gets into some trouble with the law. Jack tells Vivian that Molly is looking for a job, so Vivian hires Molly to help clean out her attic. While the two clean, we are taken back in time to 1926-1929, where we travel from Ireland, to New York, and eventually to Minnesota with Niamh (Vivian). During these travels, we meet many interesting characters who are not very nice to Vivian. Vivian ends up with a very nice family and lives a happy life with her new mother and father. In 2011, Molly and Vivian are growing closer and closer as they “clean out” Vivian’s attic. In the end, all is well, Molly has a new friend and someone who loves her. In conclusion, Orphan Train is an amazing book and I would recommend anyone age 13 and older to read it.
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Review of "The Accident Season" by Cassidy Bartlett

The Accident Season, written by Moïra Fowley Doyle, is a young adult fiction that is an eloquently written novel considering it is the author’s first published work. Cara Morris, her mother Melanie, her sister Alice, and ex-stepbrother all live in fear of the month of October, of the accident season. In that one month, the four are highly accident prone. Sometimes it’s just cuts and bruises, but sometimes the season results in death. Melanie’s husband and brother were both taken in October. In Cara’s sixteen years, her family wraps themselves up and hopes for the best. But this year, Cara begins to ask questions. Is the accident season real, or are the mishappenings more than mere accidents?

Review of "Revolution" by Shelby Norris

The young adult historical fiction, Revolution, was written by Jennifer Donnelly and was the best piece of literature I have read in a while. The book starts with Andi, a high school senior. She spends her winter vacation with her Father in France. In France Andi learns of a girl who was involved in the French Revolution. Andi finds Alex’s diary locked away in an old case. Alex is a teenager whose family is poor. When she suddenly is working for the Queen, she becomes very close to the King's son. Alex's involvement with the Queen hugely impacts the Revolution. Andi is a modern girl who goes through some difficulties with her family. Her Father is never home, her mother has lost her mind, and her brother is gone. Andi lets her grades drop and if she doesn't finish a senior thesis, she may not graduate. Over Andi’s winter break, her father forces her to come to France with him to finish her thesis. Andi is a girl who struggles with a pain killer addiction and suicidal thoughts. While in France, she meets many people who influence her in good ways.

Review of "The Wrath and The Dawn" by Karson Hudson

The Wrath and The Dawn, written by Renée Ahdieh, is a fiction novel that will leave you wanting more with every page you read. The novel tells the story of the murderous Caliph of Khorasan, who brings terror to his country by taking a new bride every evening, only to have her executed the next morning at dawn. After her best friend Shiva falls victim to the Caliph’s brutality, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran volunteers to be his next bride in order to execute her plan to not only stay alive, but to get revenge on the Caliph for Shiva and the countless other girls murdered at his order. However, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love with the man responsible for her best friend’s death, and she soon finds out that he is nothing like what he seems. Despite having feelings for the Caliph, Shahrzad remains determined to ignore her heart and get justice for the girls who lost their lives to him. This mysteriously enchanting story will constantly keep you guessing and begging for more.