Robert Lang (aka Bobby) lives in a green house in the junkyard at the dark end of a godless trail amidst trees so thick “the sun gets stuck in the branches” (9). Because the junk molders around him and because young people are often cruel, his peers nickname him Junk; his dad, Jimmy, calls him Slug. Bobby feels inadequate to meet the demands of the world in which he finds himself, one where his father is a drunk and lives with a limp, his mother abandons him a year after his birth, and he appears lost, empty, and friendless. At fifteen, Bobby is short, somewhatRead More →

In an effort to share with readers the challenges faced by a person who endures the misbehavior of brain chemicals, Bill Konigsberg writes his novel The Bridge in a nonlinear form. Under the influence of his pen, the reader’s brain trips over itself, unclear and unsure of reality. Does Tillie Stanley—a girl with a beautiful, smart, funny, and magnetic personality—jump from the George Washington Bridge to drown in the Hudson River in New York? Does Aaron Boroff—a creative, friendly, musically-inclined seventeen-year-old with a sense of humor commit suicide? Or do both decide to put their broken lives back together? Just when the reader believes he/sheRead More →

Willa Parker’s life is becoming one all about “should’s” and “supposed to’s” and it’s all her mother’s fault. Willa is a junior in High School, not exactly happy with her spot at the Freak Table, but she’s also not complaining. She’s content with her social standing and the life that she’s built with her dad in the small town of What Cheer, Iowa. Her mother, living in Paris after deserting Willa as a child, has other plans for her, though. These plans involve Willa having to move to the East Coast to attend the uber-exclusive Pembroke Prep, leaving her friends and her father behind toRead More →