family drama

Dec 23, 2021

Black Wings Beating is the first book in Alex London’s young adult fantasy series, Skybound. This novel follows twins Kylee and Brysen as they find themselves in the middle of a war between the sky and the earth. Together, the twins will venture into the treacherous mountains to find the deadly Ghost Eagle that could help their people win the war. I enjoyed the complex relationships that London presented, but I hated how Kylee kept dimming herself to fuel Brysen’s arrogance. Furthermore, the world-building had great potential, but it was detailed to the point of confusion at times.

Dec 13, 2021

Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, can fit into the Tragedy/Drama/Fiction genres.  Willy Loman returns back home, while listening to a sweet flute. He realizes that he is a failure, as a father and a husband. Willy’s sons, Happy and Biff, are not successful, and Willy's career is falling. Biff, who constantly argues with his father, has nothing to say to him, even after coming back to his hometown. However, after one incident, everything changes.


*spoiler* I enjoyed reading Death of a Salesman because it portrayed more than you would think. The book felt real to me, almost as if I had

Nov 29, 2021

The year is 1983, and Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party is just around the corner. It’s always the wildest event of the summer, attracting both celebrities and people just wanting a glimpse of the famous Riva siblings, the children of legendary singer Mick Riva. There’s Nina, who, after being abandoned by her husband, just wants a quiet place to lick her wounds and rest for a moment. There’s Jay and Hud, the inseparable brothers who have a unique bond threatened by an impending confession. And then there’s Kit, overlooked and underestimated, yet harboring her own secrets. By dawn, Malibu

Nov 22, 2021

Meri Miller is a teen living in Soldotna, Alaska, (aka the middle of nowhere). She desires traveling to big cities, like LA. Since she is in her senior year, she expects her plans to run perfectly, but when troubles arise in her family and life, she must face the world as she knows it.


I really enjoyed this book. The cover originally pulled me into reading this book, since the cover is artistic and nicely designed. It’s easy to tell how much effort the author put into this book. She portrays the characters as ordinary working people who face tough problems in America. The characters are

Nov 5, 2021

4 teens, Liam, Jorja, Marcie, and Elayah, find a time capsule that was buried by their parents. They were expecting cool items from the 80’s, but instead they find a bloody knife and a confession to a murder. They are left to solve the murder on their own after no one believes them.


Although the plot of the book doesn’t seem bad, the author did not write out the story well enough to keep me reading it. The characters did not have enough depth in them nor were they interesting. The book was boring and there weren’t any thrilling scenes. I didn’t really like the pacing of the book and I didn

Oct 21, 2021

Katelyn tends to be overshadowed by her superstar brother, Connor Jackson. When her parents force her to attend his tour across the U.S., she isn’t happy. She would have to miss competing in soccer. When she finds out that the lead singer of his act is Zach Matthews, her life changes.


This story is based off a Wattpad story, so I wouldn’t recommend this to those who don’t like Wattpad stories. This story is fast paced and a quick read.  I don’t really understand why Katelyn was forced to go on tour with her brother. She could have stayed with her friend or her other family. Also, since

Oct 4, 2021

Closer to Nowhere is an inspiring and eye-opening fiction novel by Ellen Hopkins. This book is about a boy named Cal, who has PTSD. When his mom died when he was nine, he moved in with his dad. His dad, who went to prison two times, abused Cal by hitting him and telling him to lie to the government on his behalf. When Cal’s dad went to prison again, he moved in with his aunt and uncle, and his cousin Hannah. Every so often he would run away for one reason or the other. Then something happens at his and his cousin’s school.


I love the way the author describes every single character and lets

Sep 26, 2021

Aideen is an imperfect teen that is facing many problems. She suddenly finds herself in a situation that she can solve. She decides to help Meabh, an overachieving, stressed out classmate, by pushing her down the stairs. After finding out that Meabh was able to get away from her problems, students with their own issues come to Aideen. This in turn leads Aideen to run her own secret business all while juggling her own problems at home. Will Aideen be able to solve her own problems and help others? Read more to find out!


Not My Problem is a book that is full of depth and strong emotion. The

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca

5
Rated by
Jul 12, 2021

Rebecca is the first wife of Maxim De Winter. He lost his first wife due to a tragic incident. Maxim married another woman. When she enters Manderlery, she notices that Rebecca is everywhere. She fears that everyone loves Rebecca and hates her. But, one she realizes and learns things about the true Rebecca, her intentions and feelings change. Both Maxim and his new wife realize that Rebecca is haunting their memories.


I think this book is really good. Usually, I would not read books which were published long ago, but this book is very interesting. The servant, Mrs. Danvers, does not quite

Jun 26, 2021

The movie College Road Trip follows the story of a high school student named Melanie and her overprotective father in the search for the perfect college. Melanie’s father wants her to stay close to home and is upset when Melanie wants to travel on a road trip to visit Georgetown with her friends. Therefore, Melanie’s father decides that he will take her to visit Georgetown with stop to his idea of the perfect college on the way.


This movie is very funny from a pig crashing a wedding to crashing the father’s police car in the woods. The movie is relatable to anyone with overprotective

Jun 23, 2021

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a very entertaining and hilarious movie. The movie follows the life of a young boy named Alexander who frequently has really bad days, but when his family ignores his suffering, he makes a wish that they understand his experiences. The next day is Alexander’s birthday, which turns out to be the worst day of his family’s life. The movie details every part of the day from a fire mishap at a restaurant to a kangaroo on the loose.


This movie was very funny and most of the scenes are similar to the everyday life of an American family

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

4
Rated by
Jun 22, 2021

Educated is the memoir of Tara Westover who grew up in a sheltered Mormon home in Idaho. Westover was born into a family led by the orders of her father; a man who believes in constantly preparing for the end times and keeping his children a secret from the government. As a child, Westover and her siblings were not allowed to attend school and instead forced to work at the family junkyard. When Westover was seventeen years old she taught herself the material required to take the ACT and get into college. She eventually got into multiple prestigious universities and excelled in her separation

May 13, 2021

15-year-old Liliana Cruz has a lot to deal with. From taking care of two chaotic younger brothers to dealing with an increasingly absent best friend to providing emotional support for her mother who, incidentally, won’t tell her where her missing father is, it seems like she’s just barely holding her life together. But one thing is for sure — Liliana is at home in her diverse inner-city high school, even if it’s underfunded and disorganized. Yet when she unknowingly lands a spot in the prestigious METCO program, a desegregation program meant to give non-white students more educational

Long Bright River

By Moore, Liz
5
Rated by Kari E.
Apr 9, 2020

The Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia is ravaged by the opioid epidemic. One sister, Mickey Fitzpatrick, patrols the streets as a police officer. The other sister, Kacey Fitzpatrick, works the streets and succumbs to addiction at an early age. The sisters keep their distance from one another now. Their relationship is strained but each hopes a reunion is right around the corner, just as soon as Kacey can get clean.  


Mickey narrates her harrowing and heartbreaking life in "Now" and "Then" chapters that unveil the slow, never ending battle against addiction as she watches her sister

Hate to Want You

By Alisha Rai
5
Rated by Hebah A.H.
Jun 29, 2018

I think I would have come around to romance novels years earlier if I had only realized how much angst could precede the genre's requisite happy endings. Hate To Want You nailed both angst and satisfaction.


This steamy tale follows Livvy and Nicholas, once-lovers separated by family disapproval and time, who find that years of miscommunications and misunderstandings loom as large as ever . . . but so does the sizzling chemistry between them. I started out feeling somewhat lukewarm toward the characters but had heard enough praise of Alisha Rai's books to keep me going. I was a little afraid

Behold the Dreamers

By Mbue, Imbolo
5
Rated by Kari E.
Apr 5, 2018

Behold the Dreamers tells the story of two different families who were brought together by the Lehman Brothers collapse. Jende and Neni Jonga emigrate from Cameroon, Africa to New York City with their young son, Liomi. Jende is a loyal chauffeur who does not talk about what he hears his boss say in the car. Jende is proud of the car he drives and his ability to support his family. Coming to America is everything Neni dreams of and more. The Edwards family give Neni a job helping out during the summer at their home in the Hamptons. Cindy Edwards is a socialite, nutritionist, and mother who says

Manchester by the Sea (DVD)

By Kenneth Lonergan
5
Rated by Sheida B.
Oct 10, 2017

Love. Pain. Death.  Family.  These are the main themes of this excellent Amazon production. 


Set among the cold and beautiful New England scenery, the story follows Lee (played by Casey Affleck) as he goes back to his hometown to take charge of his teenage nephew, Patrick (played by Lucas Hedges) after the death of Lee’s brother.   


From the start, it is obvious that something more than grief is going on.  Lee is very reluctant to go back.  There are nudges and whispers by the townspeople at the sight of him.  Why does everyone treat him with kid gloves, and why is Lee such a jerk to

This Is Us (DVD)

By Dan Fogelman
4
Rated by Edward R.
Sep 27, 2017

This Is Us is a dangerously addictive show about a family over multiple generations and the extreme challenges they face. The pilot episode hooks you into a compelling drama by intertwining the lives of all the characters in a unique way. The story continues with complexities that match real life and yet what we see seems more surreal than reality.


This show is emotional. Not the setup/payoff kind of emotion but rather suffocating you with emotions until they find the right string to pull that will choke you up. This approach works in two ways: it pulled me in and then pushed me out. The

I Will Send Rain

By Rae Meadows
5
Rated by Kari E.
Feb 25, 2017

I Will Send Rain is both bleak and hopeful. You will feel a lot of things while reading this perfectly crafted, emotional story of an Oklahoma farm family living through the Dust Bowl.


Samuel and Annie Bell move from Kansas to Oklahoma, set up a home, and have two children Birdie and Fred. The Bell family clings to their land and hope rain will save their crops. The pacing brings the reader into the Dust Bowl slowly and the way Meadow’s develops each character pulls you into a world where each day is a struggle to survive. Samuel, Annie, and Birdie plod along, secretly hoping to escape

You Will Be My Son (DVD)

By Gilles Legrand
4
Rated by Sarah A.
Aug 4, 2016

Paul de Marseul is the head of an esteemed family-owned winery in Saint-Emilion, France. He is an extremely overbearing father to his son Martin, who everyone assumes will take over the business one day from his father. But of course things get really interesting when the son of his estate manager returns the golden boy from his time in the Napa Valley.


From award-winning director Gilles Legrand, You Will Be My Son is a very emotionally charged and sympathetic film, with amazingly beautiful scenery of the Bordeaux region of France. The film stars French actor, Niels Arestrup (War Horse, Sar

A Hundred Summers

By Beatriz Williams
4
Rated by Heather B.
Oct 15, 2015

In 1931, Lily Dane is dragged along to a college football game by her best friend Budgie Byrne, where Lily instantly becomes smitten with Nick Greenwald. Despite the fact that Budgie is generally the popular one, Nick quickly falls for Lily as well. There is one major stumbling block to their happily-ever-after, however--Nick is Jewish, and while Budgie warns Lily that this will be unacceptable to their high society friends and family, Lily refuses to believe it. She concedes that her mother might be a problem, but Lily is convinced that even she can eventually be brought around. It is

Wildest Dreams

By Robyn Carr
4
Rated by Lisa J.
Oct 3, 2015

Fourteen year old Charlie Simmons is enjoying the summer before starting at a new school in Thunder Point. His very protective mom, Lin Su, is working in Thunder Point as a home nurse for Winnie who has ALS. This is the best job Lin Su has had in a long time and it gives Charlie the opportunity to change schools and get away from the bullies that had been taunting him at his old school. Winnie and Charlie have become good friends as he has been spending a lot of time there over the summer. And now there is new next door neighbor Blake Smiley. Blake is a professional tri-athlete and

Sep 25, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I enjoyed the early 2000s TV show, Alias, starring Jennifer Garner. And I’ve been missing it ever since – I mean, what actor since has shown such facility for multiple identities and costume changes? I have found the answer: Tatiana Maslany, the star of Orphan Black. Maslany plays Sarah, a woman thrown into the midst of a bizarre conspiracy, and who, despite battling her own demons, finds herself having to take on the trials and hang-ups of many other characters as well. But in recompense, she is privileged (and sometimes haunted) by the unique answers to “what ifs”

Sep 23, 2015

Nicki Price has just arrived in the Big Easy with her newly minted private detective's license and the desire to get to work right away, hopefully with her cousin Nate Price who has his own detective agency. Nicki plans to use her investigative skills to not only help Nate and make some money but to solve her father's murder from years ago. Nate tries to put Nicki off but she won't be deterred and follows Nate to a client meeting and manages to insinuate herself into the investigation of a recent murder.


Hunter Galen has a big problem. His business partner and friend has been found murdered

Those Girls

By Chevy Stevens
4
Rated by Lisa J.
Sep 3, 2015

Growing up in a rural British Columbia is difficult enough for Jess, Courtney and Dani Campbell before their mother dies.  But after their mother passes things really get difficult. One night things get really bad; Jess grabs the shotgun and accidentally shoots and kills their dad.  Afraid of what will happen, the girls hide the body and take off for Vancouver before anyone can realize what has happened. When the truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere they reluctantly accept help from two young men who are passing by and things go unbelievably downhill from there.  Because they fear a

A Small Indiscretion

By Jan Ellison
2
Rated by Helen H.
Aug 18, 2015

I’m not sure Ellison’s family drama with its slow reveal shouldn’t be called A Series of Significant Indiscretions, as there are so many. Both past and present. The true title, A Small Indiscretion, leads a reader to believe that our protagonist, Annie Black’s happiness is at risk by the revelation of a past mistake. But really, she and her family might have overcome any part of her past, if only she will behave as the adult she’s grown into instead of the nineteen year old self she fled from twenty years ago.


When we first meet Annie she is a young, single American working in a London

The Rules for Disappearing

By Ashley Elston
4
Rated by Lisa J.
Aug 2, 2015

Not knowing how her family has landed in witness protection is driving seventeen year old "Meg" crazy. But she knows the two rules of being in witness protection... be invisible and don't make friends.  Easier said than done, and after six placements in the last year she is bound and determined to make this placement stick as the constant moving and stress of learning new identities and back stories is tearing her family apart. Meg is determined to figure out what landed her family in this situation and she'll do whatever she can to fix it so they can just go home and everything can go back to

The Returned (DVD)

By Fabrice Gobert
4
Rated by Heather B.
Jul 13, 2015

One day, fifteen year old teenager Camille walks back up the winding mountain road and into her house, shocking her family. What seems like it should be a completely mundane act most patently is not; Camille died in a bus accident four years earlier. Camille has no memory of that event and no apparent understanding that she has died. As far as she knows, it's the day of the bus accident. But her family, while still grieving, has moved on. Her parents have split up, and most strikingly, her twin sister Léna is now several years older than Camille. The family member's responses to her return

The Life List

By Lori Nelson Spielman
4
Rated by Colleen O.
Aug 22, 2014

Brett Bohlinger is devastated. Not only has her beloved mother passed away, but she is shocked to learn she won't become president of the family's cosmetics firm. To make matters worse, her sister-in-law is appointed president in the will, and Brett is fired from the company. While Brett's two brothers receive millions from their mother, Brett cannot receive an inheritance until she completes a 'life list' she composed when she was 14... and she needs to complete all items in only a year! She doesn't see any way she can finish the list since it includes items like buy a horse, have a baby

Something Real

By Heather Demetrios
4
Rated by Diane H.
Mar 31, 2014

Something Real gives us a deliciously inside look at the truth behind “reality” shows. It reminded me of The Truman Show, except that the people being filmed are aware that millions are watching their private lives unfold. So many people in today’s world seek out their 15 minutes of fame. Would so many desire fame if that fame came with a price—everyone you meet knows every embarrassing, bumbling, horrifying experience of your life?


The story rests on “Baker’s Dozen,"  a highly popular family reality television show that was canceled a few years ago. Bonnie Baker, the eldest child, has