Are all you JJJ Book Club members ready for our president Caroline Sunshine‘s first column? Check out her picks below!
“This Is What Happy Looks Like” by Jennifer E. Smith
This is my book pick for all you readers looking for a ‘feel-good’ read. For all you hopeless romantics and rom-com lovers out there, Jennifer E. Smith has brought you the feel-good read “This is What Happy Looks Like.” If you’re lonely on your couch on a Friday night pick up this book and escape into the world of Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neil. On paper, Graham and Ellie are polar opposites. Both 17, Ellie is a small town girl in Maine who works in an ice cream shop and Graham is a teenage heartthrob/movie star. Their two paths cross when Graham accidentally sends an email to Ellie about his pet pig.
They strike up a long distance email correspondence full of wit and charm discussing everything except each other’s name and identity. When Graham finds out that Ellie’s hometown is the perfect location for his next movie, he decides to take their relationship from online to real life. Graham and Ellie soon find themselves in a whirlwind romance as they find love and deal with the newfound obstacles their love brings. Like the fact that Graham happens to be one of the biggest teen heartthrobs on the planet and his manager is pressuring him to date his co-star for publicity. As well as the fact that Ellie has a pretty big secret she is struggling to hide from all her newfound media attention.
Reading Smith’s novel you quickly become wrapped up in Graham and Ellie’s world. Each chapter you fall more and more in love with Graham, Ellie, and their sweet genuine love story. “This Is What Happy Looks Like” is a feel good read that is surprisingly relatable to young teenage hearts and makes you feel, well ‘happy’.”
(Click inside for Caroline‘s other picks, plus a few honorable mentions!)
“Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady” by Derek Blasberg
Being a young girl is hard. Being a young girl in the 21st century is even harder. Personally speaking, as a young woman growing up in today’s world I find it harder and harder to find role models that are well, “classy”. Quite frankly, some days I feel like I was born in the wrong decade. Where are the Audrey Hepburns and Grace Kellys of the world? Where have the days of modest dresses and lady like manners gone? If you feel anything like me, Derek Blasberg’s cheeky little novel is my book pick for you. I’ve had a copy of this novel sitting on my shelf since middle school and I always carry my copy around with me when I’m traveling. The spine on mine is almost worn out from flipping through it so many times, but it is one of my most treasured reads. Blasberg has filled this little book with quotes, advice, how-to guides, and funny excerpts on how to navigate this big scary world with class, grace, style and spunk. He offers relevant grounded advice on topics like facing temptation, making friends, finding love, as well as art, literature, novels and culture young ladies should know. “I can categorize the young women I’ve met through my trials and travails into two groups: ladies and tramps,” writes Blasberg in the introduction. Blasberg’s writing style is fun, fresh, sassy and well, classy. When offering advice on how a young lady should dress Blasberg writes, “Unless you’re a cheerleader or prepubescent little girl, there is no reason to run around town in a half tee.” This is one of my favorite books filled with wonderful advice for young ladies, and young gentleman as well. I recommend this book to JJJ readers ages 12 and up. I also recommend it to guys and girls alike ,after all, the world could always use a few more gentleman too. Shout out to you, Justin Timberlake. Well done.
“Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell
Our world seems to have a fascination with success. Our newspapers, televisions, and social media spheres are filled with stories describing the meteoric success stories of pop stars, athletes, authors, and CEO’s alike. As a society, we seem to crave and endlessly chase this concept of “success”. Any young athlete may ask themself, “How did Serena Williams become the most successful female tennis player in the world?” Any young entrepreneur may ask themselves, “How did Mark Zuckerberg create one of the most successful social media companies on the face of the planet?” Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers” offers a suggested answer to these questions as well as a theory on how such stratosphere success is acquired. “It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” Chapter by chapter, Gladwell explores the success stories of everyone from Microsoft CEO Bill Gates to The Beatles and offers up a theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a specific topic or skill. While the novel tackles some pretty intimidating subject matter, Gladwell’s writing is raw and relatable. In essence, he makes the complicated concept of “success” seem simple and attainable. In particular I recommend this book to anyone chasing success in a particular skill whether that be in school, athletics, the arts, etc. The novel also makes for a very interesting conversation topic to impress your English teacher with, or an excellent source of inspiration for all of you working on your college application essays.
“Si-Cology” by Si Robertson
Duck Dynasty happens to be one of my favorite TV shows, so its no surprise this book is one of my favorite new reads. I would definitely describe my self as a Duck Dynasty obsessed. Not only do the crazy shenanigans on the show literally make me laugh out loud, all the characters also have a lot of heart. I love Si Robertson’s book “Si-cology” for the same reasons. Its no secret that Uncle Si is one of everyone’s favorite members of the Robertson family. But his book reveals some things you may not know about him. “Si-cology” is filled with stories from Si’s days in Vietnam, what it was like growing up in the bayous of Louisiana, and of course plenty of crazy classic Uncle Si stories. This autobiographical novel is much like its author: crazy, irreverent, and lovable. I recommend grabbing a glass of sweet tea and giving it a read jack!
“Fathomless” by Jackson Pearce
I recommend this Jackson Pearce novel for all you fantasy lovers out there. “Fathomless” is a retelling of the classic fairytale “The Little Mermaid” with a dark modern twist. The novel centers around 3 triplets each with a different gift and a troubled sea nymph named Lo. Jane can see the present, Anne can see the future, and Celia can see the past. Lo is a troubled mermaid, who was once a human, and is struggling to regain her humanity as a she slowly finds her self turning into a soulless sea monster. When a handsome young man named Jude falls off a pier into the ocean Celia and Lo form a friendship struggling to save him from drowning. However, both girls soon find themselves competing for Jude’s affection. Lo has more than just love on the line though. If she wants to regain her human form, she must persuade Jude to fall in love with her—and then steal his soul. Pearce’s retelling of this classic tale is as a dark and twisted as the ocean depths that it takes place in. “Fathomless” has everything all you fantasy lovers will enjoy: mermaids, romance, and one epic love triangle.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: “Picture Me Gone” by Meg Rosoff, “Unbreakable” by Kami Garcia, and “Pretenders” by Lisi Harrison.