Madeleine Miller’s first book, “The Song of Achilles,” is a re-telling of the classic Greek love story between Achilles and Patroclus. The story is told through the lens of Patroclus, an awkward young prince recently exiled to the court of King Peleus. There he meets Peleus’ son, Achilles, who is perfect in every way. The two become friends, and as they grow into adulthood their friendship blossoms into a romance. Miller’s writing perfectly encapsulates the beauty of ancient Greek mythology, while still making the characters seem accessible. Her story explores the thrill of first love, the battle between glory and happiness, as well as what it means to be a hero.
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“Too Much is Not Enough” is a heartwarming memoir exploring Andrew Rannell’s musical theater career, as well as his journey through finding his own identity. Rannell’s exuberant personality comes alive in this book, making the memoir incredibly exciting, as well as being an easy read.
“Call Me By Your Name” is the story of the relationship that emerges between a teenager named Elio, and a summer guest who stays at his parent's house in Italy. At first, Elio and Oliver unsuccessfully try to hide their attraction to one another, but slowly the barriers between them fall. The last several weeks of summer are spent exploring their newfound passion, as well as their adventures throughout Italy. The book is narrated from Elio’s perspective, as he analyzes the story unfolding before him.
S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” is the novel that originally got me invested in the world of reading. This classic book is about a young boy named Ponyboy Curtis who is living in a divided world, where either you’re a privileged soc (short for social), or a poor greaser. One night, Ponyboy’s friend, Johnny, accidentally kills a soc throwing their lives into disarray. The events that follow the murder change Ponyboy’s opinion on the society that he’s living in, and he realizes that people really aren’t that different from one another.
Although I’m usually not interested in graphic novels, I wasn’t able to resist the beautiful art and story of Jen Wang’s “The Prince and the Dressmaker.” The story is about a prince named Sebastian who is leading a double life. At night he dons a beautiful dress, and becomes ‘Lady Crystallia.’ He invites a promising young dressmaker named Francis to work for him. Throughout the book, Sebastian struggles with showing his true self to the world, because of his fear of rejection. Francis helps him overcome his phobia, while their friendship grows. This book is so important in our current society, and the artwork provides a gateway between the moral of the story and the reader .