Tight by Torrey Maldonado

Have you ever felt like one of your friends had another side? Have you ever had a friend who you thought was a good student, kind, caring, and honest, but they shocked you out of your shoes by their behavior? If you answered yes to one or both of those questions, you will definitely find Bryan’s story relatable. Bryan was always told by his mother, “Focus on school. There will be friends later. The wrong friends bring drama, and I don’t want them rubbing off on you.” Then, one day, a kid named Mike showed up at Bryan and his family’s home, and everyone in his family was very fond of Mike.

That annoyed Bryan, until one day, Mike came for dinner and Bryan and Mike became really close after reading their superhero comics together. His mother and father loved Mike because of his good grades and they felt that he would be a good friend for Bryan. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Mike would do crazy things like cutting school by faking his mom’s handwriting and excusing himself from school and Bryan started to notice that Mike was jealous of him under the fake smiles that masked Mike’s face. Bryan felt pressured by Mike because he was afraid that Mike would call him soft or a mommy’s boy. Mike kept on getting Bryan in trouble, and Bryan learned that Mike was not the best friend choice for him. He started to become friends with people closer to his personality like Big Will. 

This book was so interesting and exciting that I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in one day. As I turned the pages, I was curious to see what would come next. As each minute ticked by, I fell more and more into this book. It really fed my passion for reading!  I think this book really shows that you should be careful with the people you become friends with because they can be very good, nice friends, but they can also get you in trouble like Mike did to Bryan in this novel. 

I really recommend this book to anyone who needs a good book to read because this novel will not disappoint. I rate this book a 10 out of 10 and this is definitely one of my favorite books that I have read recently.

-Mert A.

Tight by Torrey Maldonado is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

TV Show Review: Gilmore Girls

As you may have guessed, this television show features the girls of the Gilmore family.

I have probably watched each Gilmore Girls episode at least 3 times. I love the show. The series follows a hilarious and iconic mother-daughter duo living in a tiny town in Connecticut called Stars Hollow. 

Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory(Alexis Bledel) who play the mother and daughter are best friends first, mother and daughter second. This special relationship is a result of Lorelai having Rory when she was very young (16). Right after having Rory, Lorelai left her wealthy, extravagant life that her parents were living and raised Rory all on her own. 

The show starts with Rory beginning her sophomore year of high school and trying to gain admission into a prestigious, and expensive, private school. In order to afford the tuition, Lorelai must swallow her pride and ask her rich parents for financial aid in order to send Rory there. This leads to an agreement where Lorelei and Rory must have dinner at the Gilmore house every Friday night.

The two live in a small fictional town named Stars Hollow. There are many interesting characters living in the town. There is a grumpy, but loving diner owner Luke, the delusional dance teacher, Ms. Patty, the tight knit town mayor, Taylor, and many more cooky characters. 

The show features the amazing lifestyle of Rory and Lorelai, the rich lives of Emily and Richard, the weird characters in Stark Hollow, every Friday night dinner and every laugh relationship in between. This show will have you laughing out loud but also has its sad and serious aspects. No matter what comes between the two they always have each other’s backs as they navigate life.

Gilmore Girls can be found on Netflix. It has 7 seasons, starting with Rory’s sophomore year of high school and ending with her college graduation.

-Hidaya R.

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

The Outsiders is a coming of age novel based in the 1960s and written by S.E Hinton. Told in the eyes of fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis, who talks about his gang consisting of Darryl Curtis, Sodapop Curtis, Steve Randle, Keith Matthews, better known as Two-Bit, Dallas Winston, or Dally, and Pony’s best friend Johnny Cade. Sodapop or Soda and Darryl or Darry are Pony’s brothers who are all going through a tough time after losing their parents and having to deal with money issues and the Socs; an abbreviation of Socials, are the rich, peppy kids on the Westside who jump greasers which are the people on the Eastside, and the name of Pony’s gang. Even though all these troubles, this family of three has many friends to help them out throughout the book.

Pony is a bookworm, a movie lover and a daydreamer. Being the youngest in the gang, he grew up thinking that the Socs were all the same and there would be no way that their two groups, the Socs and greasers, can get along. And he goes along believing that but throughout the book, he finds that it isn’t like that. The only way Pony find out the truth is because of his adventure with Johnny. He and Johnny meet two Socs named Cherry and Marcia. After talking with them, he finds that they are different than what he had originally thought they were like. Cherry talks to him and proves that even if they are Socs, their life isn’t perfect, and they have problems like everyone else.

Later in the story, Pony and Johnny have to run away and hide out after a series of events leading to future events and problems. Through this experience, Pony grows stronger bonds with everyone and learns more about what their thought are and what everyone is going through. The same with everyone else. Even though not directly mentioned in the book, it is implied that the people around Ponyboy find out more about him throughout the story too. they grow closer with each other after each hardship they overcome such as their family problems and loss of others. These help the characters grow and realize different things.

In this novel, there are some topics that some may be uncomfortable with such as, alcohol, bullying, depression, death, etc. Even with these topics, this book is a wonderful masterpiece that shows different themes to teach the reader, has interesting characters that pull them in, great storytelling, and a magnificent plot. This book expresses different emotions through each character’s actions giving them a real personality where some people can relate to. It was a quick read, at least for me, and I loved it. It made me feel things that I haven’t gotten from other books. Overall, The Outsiders was an amazing and genuine book that I would recommend to anyone looking for something to read and is okay with the topics discussed inside of it.

-Nicole R.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

This book was one I randomly picked up mainly because the cover art was interesting and seemingly had nothing to do with the synopsis. (I later discovered that the tent on the cover was intricately woven into the plot, which took me by surprise.) The story line intertwines the lives of three girls from three time eras: Adri from 2065, Catherine from 1934 and Lenore from 1919.

2065: Futuristic Adri is prepping to take a one-way trip to Mars in hopes of finding a feasible way for human life to prosper there. As she trains for her flight, she stays in Kansas at her distant cousin’s house. Here, she finds a journal and letters of a girl that lived there over one hundred years ago, thus leading to a puzzle of the past that Adri is determined to solve.

1934: Living in Kansas during the treacherous Dust Bowl, fear and unpredictability of the future sinks its claws into Catherine’s family and lover. She must overcome all odds and find the strength to do what she deems right to save the person she loves the most. Even if it means running in the opposite direction of everyone’s advice and never looking back.

1919: Lenore struggles to recover from the impact of World War I and the loss of her brother by keeping her chin up and sending letters to her best friend. She decides to move to America in hopes of finding a better, happier life but obstacles make her journey nothing less than arduous.

I thought there was no possible way these three girls could have anything in common, especially if they’re all from drastically different time periods. However, Jodi Lynn Anderson found a clever way to link them all together, while highlighting the balance between family and friends, fate and adventure. All the pieces clicked into place seamlessly and made for a beautiful plot.

Midnight at the Electric was one of those books I couldn’t stop reading and once I finished, I had to take a minute to gather myself before continuing on with life. I definitely recommend this book to those who want something mysteriously intriguing but also touching and easy-to-read!

-Jessica T.

The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck

Ethan Hawley is very satisfied with his life as a market clergy. He has a happy family but they are also unhappy with the amount of money that he earns. For me though, I think the best part of a family is not the amount of money that they have, but everyone loves each other.

Mr. Banker is a nice person but he sometimes can be a little snobbish and selfish. Although I would be ecstatic to have him as a friend because he is always there for you. I don’t know how a little girl like Ella Hawley can be so mature, but she acts like a grown-up woman to her dad Ethan Hawley.

The saddest part for me was when Marullo, Ethan’s boss got deported because he was an illegal immigrant. I really want to give him a pat on the shoulder because he is a very nice and kind person, it’s just that he doesn’t reveal his geniality very easily. It’s a winter when everybody has their own dissatisfaction, but at the end, a lesson can be learned: we should be glad about our life as always.

-April L.

The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library