Books you need to read now

Abby Knowles, Feature Editor, Ads Manager

The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a painstakingly beautiful novel about a young Mexican- American girl Esperanza growing up in Chicago. It portrays her struggles against poverty, violence and sexism and ultimately documents her desire to improve her circumstances.
It is written in an nontraditional format, as it features short stories and poems. It almost reads like a diary because most of her stories deal with her observations of others and life around her. Cisneros’s prose is beautiful and haunting.
With only 100 pages, you will fly through this book, so be sure to give it a read.

The Virgin Suicides

It is no mistake that this book is often hailed as a masterpiece. Jeffrey Eugenides debut novel is thoughtful, stunning and entertaining. I have wanted to read this book for a long time and I’m glad I finally got around to it.
The Virgin suicides documents the lives of the Lisbon girls, five sisters that all commit suicide, through the eyes of the neighborhood boys that are obsessed with watching them. It portrays the struggles of adolescence and the harmful effects that isolation has on the psyche of young girls.
This is a book you need to read. Pick up a copy next time you’re in the library.

The Marriage Plot

Let me start off, by saying that I have read and enjoyed many of Jeffrey Eugenide’s novels. Middlesex is by far my favorite book and The Virgin Suicides enthralled me. However, The Marriage Plot disappointed me.
The story follows Madeline, Leonard and Mitchell, all recent Brown graduates, who are trying to find their place in society. All three lack a sense of direction and so does the novel. It bounces around between the three character without any room for development. The only character that grows is Mitchell and his growth is limited to the cliche that he doesn’t need love to be happy.
Otherwise, the book merely documents the lives of rich, confused young adults without any insight. I’m sorry to say I would not recommend this novel.

The Kite Runner

Set in the afghan city of Kabul, The Kite Runner chronicles the life of a young boy Amir and his childhood companion Hassan. It paints a stunning portrait of the history of Afghanistan from the Soviet takeover to the repressive Taliban regime. Rich in history and language, this novel follows Amir from Afghanistan to the US. It shows the rocky relationship with his father and ultimately demonstrates affect parental expectations have on families and how jealousy between siblings one of the most corrosive human forces.
It is lyrical, moving and one of the best novels I have ever read. The fact that it spent two years on the New York Times bestsellers list is no mistake. When you get the chance, be sure to pick up this novel