Classic Retelling Of Wuthering Heights Is A Delicious Read To Sink Into

11266086I loved April Lindner’s Jane, so I’ve been meaning to read her take on Wuthering Heights in Catherine.  Chelsea has moved around a lot and has few friends.  She has always been curious about her mother who she thought died when she was three.  Her father would never talk about her.  It made him too sad.  She is a fan of Nico Rathburn who was a main character in Lindner’s retelling of Jane Eyre.  When Chelsea comes to the club, The Underground, she discovers where her mother grew up.  She also finds the man named Hence, who knew her mother a long time ago.  He is not thrilled that Chelsea shows up asking questions, but her lets her stay in her mother’s old loft room in the apartment over the club.  He is the story’s Heathcliff.  The story is written between mother and daughter perspective in alternating chapters.  I was pulled in immediately to Chelsea and her search for answers about her mother and the setting of the nightclub.  The nightclub is a rich back drop and Hence was once a rock star.   The romance between Hence and Catherine is intense, but what I really loved was the relationship between Catherine and her father.  Catherine struggles between her intense love of Hence and her future dreams to go to Harvard.  Chelsea then discovers her mother’s hidden journal in a book.   Another hidden book leads to Chelsea to solve the mystery of her mother.  This book is part love story and party mystery.  I loved falling into Catherine’s gritty world of rock music.  She is a strong character.  I highly recommend this both as a read alike and as a story that holds well even if you are not a Wuthering Heights fan.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss how Chelsea found out her mother was still alive.  What would you have done?
What is your opinion of Hence from both Chelsea and Catherine’s perspectives?  How does he compare with Bronte’s Heathcliff?
Discuss Catherine’s relationship with her brother and how that ultimately lead to her end.  Discuss her relationship with her father.
Discuss Catherine’s choice to enroll at Harvard after her visit.
Discuss keeping a journal and how it could impact others in your life.
How are Chelsea and Catherine different?  How are they the same?

The White Rose is a strong book two in The Lone City series.

24585267The White Rose begins right where The Jewel ends. Violet is in her room and Garnet is working on sneaking her out of the House Of The Lake. There is plenty of action as Violet helps Raven escape through a series of tunnels, using their magic to help them along the way. Raven is not the same. She was tortured at The House of Stone and Violet fears she is broken. They use Ash’s companion house to assist in their escape and learn dark things about his past. Violet finds out she is part of a much bigger rebellion and her magic has powers she never imagined. The White Rose holds up next to The Jewel. Many second books in a series fizzle out but not this one. Ewing’s excellent world building extends as we see more of the different circles in Violet’s world such as The Bank and The Farm. It ends with a cliff hanger that makes me really want to read book three. But we will have to wait awhile. Good Reads does not have a title or a release date at this time.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss Violet’s sacrifice for Raven.
Why do you think Lucien is helping the surrogates?
Discuss how Raven has changed since her time with the House of Stone.
The story turns darker when we learn about the training for companions such as Ash and the torture of Ravel at the House of Stone. Discuss how the story changed.
Was it worth the risk for Ash to see his sister one last time?
Discuss when Violet thinks, “I don’t know these people but if I can do anything to make even a single life better, isn’t it worth it?”
How does the surprise we learn at the end change things for Violet?

Intense, Gripping Read About A School Shooting Told From Multiple Points Of View

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Marikene Nijkamp This Is Where It Ends is an intense read about a school shooting.  The cover is brilliant with the bullet cutting through colorful chalk.   Everyone has a reason to be afraid of Tyler Browne.    He planned a  massacre at his school on the day he re-enrolled.  He dropped out for a short time after going off the rails after his mother is killed in a car accident.  The story is told in several points of view, his sister Autumn,  Autumn’s secret girlfriend Sylv, Sylv’s brother Tomas and  Tyler’s ex-girlfriend Claire.  The story is also told in texts from other students and blog postings by the daughter of a teacher.  Each give background while the story is unfolding.  The entire book takes place in at the span of an hour.  It is not for sensitive readers. This book is harsh and shows the mind of a killer who feels the world has turned on him and isn’t remorseful for taking revenge and killing innocent students.    I received an ARC from Edelweiss.  This book comes out in January.    It is a well written story about something that could happen anywhere if the wrong person has a gun and enough hate in their heart.

Some ideas for discussing with teens:

How do  you think Tyler’s life would be different if his mother was still alive?  Or would he have reached the same end?

Discuss the line “Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.”

Why do you think he was so kind when he was dating Claire and then was capable of this?

Why do you think Tyler betrayed his sister to their father when he showed him her ballet slippers and what he ultimately did to Autumn when he seemed like such a caring big brother?

Do you think Tomas helped or hurt Autumn’s situation?

Discuss this passage, “We are not better because we survived.  We are not brighter or more deserving.  We are not stronger.  But we are here, and this day will never leave us.  Nor should it.  We will remember the wounded.  We will remember the lost. There will be many tomorrows; there’ll be thousands of them.  So let’s make them good ones.”

Discuss Mr. Jameson’s  tradition with the seniors where they used lanterns and had a bonfire.

Discuss  the ending of the book with  Sylv “I take a deep breath and caress the rice paper between thumb and finger.  And I let go.”