Going away to college is often touted as one of the defining times in a young person’s life, a period in which they are no longer under the supervision of their parents and placed in an environment that can’t help but change them. As cliche as this vision of academia seems, that’s exactly the situation of freshman Joyce Brown, one of the leading players in David Willis’s slice-of-life dramedy Dumbing of Age, which is set entirely on the campus of Indiana University.
Joyce (like Willis himself) has been raised in a loving but sheltered and strict fundamentalist Christian home and is attending school to, in her own words “hunt down the wonderful, godly man [she] will someday marry.” But Joyce’s worldviews will be tested and turned upside down by a widely diverse and intricate cast of characters. These include Joyce’s misanthropic roommate, her Yale-bound new best friend who happens to be an atheist, her rebellious convicted felon neighbor, their despot of an RA, and an emotionally unstable girl masquerading as a caped crusader (or is it the other way around?)–and those are just the people on her floor!
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, September 14th, 2015||No Comments »|
MisSpelled is a new web series surrounding four modern witches. Unlike the pasty-white cast of Harry Potter, American Horror Story: Coven or The Witches of East End, the cast is actually pretty diverse, which is remarkable in a society that lives to whitewash the media.
In the official trailer, the five young women attempt to bring a young man back from the dead. However, unlike the self-assured Fiona from Coven, these witches are clueless about their powers and it’s clear they’re afraid the spell won’t work. Despite their fears, it’s obvious from the way one of the witches was telekinetically levitating her iPhone that their powers are growing, even if they are afraid to acknowledge that fact. Their fears could be what is holding them back, although they remain steadfast in their desire to bring the young man back to life.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, November 13th, 2014||No Comments »|
YA author Lauren Oliver’s new adult fiction novel Rooms revolves around the intersection of the world of the living and the world of the dead.
Trenton Walker’s wealthy father has just passed away and he left everything to his family, even though they were estranged. In the gloomy country house, ghosts lurk and they attempt to communicate with the family by dimming a light bulb or making creepy creaking sounds on the stairs. However, the ghosts’ quiet and snarky observations on the Walker family get interrupted when a new ghost appears. Not only does this new spirit upset the delicate balance between the living and the dead, but all the painful truth that both mortal and ghoul are hiding are exposed to the light.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, October 6th, 2014||No Comments »|
In Diary of a Wildflower, readers follow Lorelei Starr as she grows up in awful poverty in 1920s Appalachia and watches as the women in her family succumb to an early grave. She decides that she wants to fight for her independence and leaves her childhood home of Starr Mountains. Although education is hard to come by, thanks to a friendly teacher, Starr is able to finish high school and goes on to become a maid in a wealthy home in Charlottesville.
Starr becomes dazzled by the flappers and the speakeasies that make up the ‘20s, but before she becomes overwhelmed by the handsome men that reek of “old money,” one visit to her childhood home reminds her that she is strong enough to break the cycle of hopelessness that envelopes the women in her family. This inspires her to fight for her own independence and find a happy ending on her own terms.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, May 12th, 2014||No Comments »|