Act Cool by Tobly McSmith

Act Cool

Rated by
Oct 21, 2021

August Greene is a trans teen that attends a prestigious performing arts school in New York, where he feels his true self. He made a promise to his parents that he won’t transition; if he does, he would have to attend conversion therapy. He tries to be himself with his friends, and, at the same time, satisfy his parents’ wishes.

This book struck a ton of emotions in me; it made me sad and angry. There are many situations in this book that are heavy and difficult. This book is all about self-acceptance and identity. This book is also about family, how you can also make a family with the

Oct 21, 2021

While trying to drive back to her home, Rose Colter gets stuck in the Nevada Desert. Suddenly, her radio starts playing her deceased friend’s voice. She decides to follow a light that leads her to the town of Lotus Valley. There she discovers that she will cause a flood in three days due to a prophecy. Does Rose stop the flood? What will happen next? Read more to find out!

There are many dark themes in this book. There are themes of PTSD, grief, and panic attacks. This book is very well written, it was hard to put down, and contained realistic scenarios revolving mental health. The main

Oct 6, 2021

After witnessing the break-up of her parents, it’s hard for Evie Thomas to fall in love. Her belief is soon strengthened when she finds out she has an ability to see the beginning and the downfall of couples’ relationships. But after she meets X, a boy in her dance class, she wonders if love is worth the heartbreak. Does Evie beat the odds and form a strong relationship with X? Read more to find out!

Although this book seems like it’s about romance and love changing your perception, this book is about the struggles of Evie and how she grows and takes a betting chance on possibility. I

Oct 6, 2021

June’s daily life revolves around her best friend, Jess. But when June gets sent away to Virginia because of underage drinking, it seems to be the start of a series of bad events for her. While living with her grandmother, she goes through growth, discovery, and learning to be independent.

This story is written nicely. It shows how June changes for the better throughout the book.  The book shows us how June strengthens her relationship with her loved ones, while also learning to surround herself with good people.  I enjoyed how the characters were not perfect, but instead they were

Oct 6, 2021

When Miho’s boyfriend unexpectedly breaks up with her, she is miserable.  In order to get away from the stress of college and break-ups, she decides to participate in a triathlon. With support from her family and friends, she will undergo tough training in order to prepare herself. She gains mental and physical strength with every step she takes.

This book has strong themes of family and friendship. I like that Miho gains strength from the people around her, and she builds a reliable support system from this. The book definitely has some great lessons in it. I learned that sometimes

Oct 6, 2021

Calliope Silversmith is a 17 year old girl who lives in Pennsylvania town. She is used to living in the woods, having two moms, and having two friends, Ginger and Noah. She has always wondered who her sperm donor was, until a boy named Max moves into the old house across from them. After spending time with Max, she realizes that it’s nice to know someone new. Then Calliope finds out that Max’s father is her sperm donor.  She is utterly shocked and she reevaluates her friendship with Max.

The title for The People We Choose is a very good fit for the story. In the book, Calliope comes to

The Man Who Wasn't There

By Anil Ananthaswamy
Rated by Amy F.
Mar 4, 2016

You had me at "In the tradition of Oliver Sacks..."

I love listening to scientific books, but not being a scientist myself, need a particular type of science writing. I want to go in depth into whatever subject is being explored, but I need the author to perform that particularly impressive feat of giving me some basic background without boring me or making me feel talked down to. Sacks, in his psychological case studies, mastered this talent, covering many of the fascinating, horrifying, sad and beautiful cases he had encountered over his long career as a doctor and writer. Sacks sadly

Jan 10, 2016

There are some downsides to HBO’s Enlightened. It is painfully sincere. It riffs on commercialized, New Age-y self-help. It satirizes corporate America in a way that makes you wonder if it is really satire after all. But I find myself recommending the show anyway.

I haven’t really seen anything like it. I cringed a lot. I felt uncomfortable. But I didn’t stop watching. There’s a tension in the show, which totters between rage and earnestness. These extremes are broadcasted on the face of the protagonist, Amy, played by Laura Dern. Everyone is a bit of a caricature, which is the show’s main

The Big Tiny

By Dee Williams
Rated by Helen H.
Mar 28, 2015

After reading The Big Tiny, I am certain I could live happily, just like Dee Williams, in a tiny house. I’m equally certain someone else will have to build it for me.

One day she “had been a normal, middle-class, middle-of-the-road woman with a mortgage and a job and friends, who went running and climbing and paddling, racing in a thousand different directions at a thousand miles per hour.” Then suddenly she was a woman with ventricular tachycardia with torsades, an uncertain future, and follow up appointments with her cardiologist. It was at one such appointment that Williams’ doctor was

Nov 6, 2014

Imagine, at the age of 30, discovering you're not typical — or rather, not neurotypical. What could have been a scary diagnosis turned out to be very empowering for David Finch. His personal story of coping with Asperger Syndrome and saving his marriage paints a picture of hard-earned possibility. Finch may be at the milder end of the Asperger/autism spectrum, but for a neurotypical like myself, I learned a lot about the life of someone whose brain works very differently from my own. At the same time, I also saw aspects of myself in his behaviors, a reminder that common ground can still be