Bookshelves in the PHS library.
Bookshelves in the PHS library.
Catherine Hayes

What Are Big Reds Reading This Month?

Find out what students, teachers are reading during Read a New Book Month.
Lily-Rose Walker with her book.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things

For her book this month, senior Lily-Rose Walker is reading “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” by Iain Reid. It has a rating of 3.6/5 on Goodreads. The book follows Jake and his girlfriend in a psychological thriller and horror fiction.

“Reid builds tension with a Hitchcockian intensity, through their visit with Jake’s parents, the mysteries of his childhood home, and the final scenes set in a dark high school,” said Robert Wiersema of The Toronto Star. “When the pieces fall into place, the novel comes together with a rush. It has the sort of ending that will inspire readers to re-read the novel immediately, to try to figure out just how it was done.”

“It’s good. I’ve personally read it before,” said Walker. “The reason I’m re-reading it is to catch things I haven’t seen before because it’s a really detailed story. It’s very confusing but interesting.”

Lily-Rose Walker with her book. (Catherine Hayes)
Connie Colvin with her book.
Interior Chinatown

“Something that’s really unique about this book is it’s written like a screenplay for a movie,” said English teacher Connie Colvin. “It’s about a guy who works for a television show as an extra but, someday, he wants to be a big star.”

With a 4/5 rating on Goodreads, “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu is a story following Willis Wu, an actor who lives in a single-room apartment in Chinatown.

“Arranged in acts and told in the second person in the form of a screenplay, ‘Interior Chinatown’ is bold, even groundbreaking, in its form,” said Anita Felicelli in her review on The San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s full of clever wordplay and in-jokes about the Chinese American experience.”

“I definitely recommend it,” said Colvin. “It’s a really fun and interesting book.”

Connie Colvin with her book. (Catherine Hayes)
Daphne Cockerham with her book.
Turtles All The Way Down

Junior Daphne Cockerham plans to read “Turtles All The Way Down” by John Green this month.

“I’m so excited to read this book because I got it at the NEHS book exchange and the person who brought it must’ve thought it was good.”

The book has a rating of 3.9/5 on Goodreads, 4/5 on Common Sense Media, and a 4.6/5 on DOGO Books.

The book follows a teenager from Indianapolis, Aza Holmes, as she and her best friend, Daisy, try to find billionaire Russell Pickett, who went missing. According to Matt Haig on  The Guardian, the story addresses important topics, such as “teenage friendships and love interests and, maybe most of all, Aza’s mental health.”

Daphne Cockerham with her book. (Catherine Hayes)
Andrew Moore with his book.
A Monster Calls

“A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness has a 4.4/5 on Goodreads and a 5/5 on Common Sense Media. It is a fictional story following Connor, a 13-year-old boy who is about to lose his mother to cancer. One night, Connor wakes up to find a monster at his window. They create a sort of friendship between themselves, and the monster helps Connor in exchange for the truth.

In a review from The Fiction Fox, “’A Monster Calls’ is brutally honest, yet so loving towards all its flawed characters, in a way that is hard to find in adult literature, let alone YA (young adult) or middlegrade.”

“I think it’s a 5/5,” said English teacher Andrew Moore. “It’s easy to read but emotionally intriguing. It has pictures, which are fantastic as well.”

Andrew Moore with his book. (Catherine Hayes)
Anna Floyd with her book.
Jane Eyre

”Jane Eyre,” by Charlotte Brontë, is a classical novel published in 1847 under the original name Currer Bell due to Brontë’s concern that nobody would read it under a woman’s name. The book has a 4.2/5 on Goodreads and a 4/5 on Common Sense Media.

“It is interesting to read a book written long ago, but with a female protagonist who is far from the submissive woman that was often portrayed in the fiction, and preferred in society, of the time,” said Fleur Morrison on Readability Australia.

The main protagonist of the story is Jane Eyre, a woman in England who is not the typical female protagonist of her time period. She is on a journey to break out of her restrictive conditions and find love and independence through the freedom to think and feel.

“I’m only, like, a quarter of the way through but so far I really like it a lot,” said sophomore Anna Floyd. “It’s not something you can read fast. You have to sit down and pay attention to it because it’s written in an old style. I like that while reading because I get to use my brain.”

Anna Floyd with her book. (Catherine Hayes)
Teffany Armel with her book.
A Christmas Carol

“I like to read ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Christmastime. This is the fifth year I’ve done it because it puts me in the Christmas spirit,” said English teacher Teffany Armel. “It’s a delightful story about what I think the spirit of the holiday should be. It teaches us to be giving, loving and forgiving.”

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has a 4.1/5 on Goodreads and a 5/5 on Common Sense Media. The book recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The experience turns Scrooge into a kinder man.

“The moral of this book is to be generous at Christmas and enjoy what you have – and also spend time with friends and family,” said Kat Winter on The Guardian. “I rate this book 8⅔ out of 10 and recommend it to people who like to read classics.”

Teffany Armel with her book.
Cheyenne Stewart with her book.
You Should Have Told Me

Freshman Cheyenne Stewart is reading “You Should Have Told Me” by Leah Konen this month. The book is a thriller with a 3.6/5 on Goodreads and a 4/5 on Waterstones. It follows Janie, who has a baby daughter with her boyfriend Max. One night, Max doesn’t come home, and Janie is left with countless unanswered questions.

“My review on the book so far is it’s very detailed,” said Stewart. “I haven’t really gotten to the plot yet from what I read on the back that made me want to get it. It’s about a murder taking place with a fiancée and her (future) husband, who’s a murder suspect. So far, it’s talking about how he’s a really good father to their daughter.”

According to a review on Novel Gossip, “The author managed to really capture the feeling of being a new parent, especially the low moments that aren’t often discussed. This aspect alongside a plot full of tension and secrets worked pretty well for me.”

Cheyenne Stewart with her book. (Catherine Hayes)
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