Sometimes, the internet surprises me. While I typically find people that use social media unquestionably toxic, sometimes, the internet surprises me with something genuinely fun.
I saw a post floating around that read, here’s seven books to get to know be by. The point is to have the books reveal aspects of someone’s personality while revealing other things about the person through, well, reading the books.
It looked genuinely fun. This, more than anything, shocked me. I’ve written, numerous times before, about how I hate social media and believe people should learn how to email or text message someone again. All the same, this looked fun, so I figured I’d make a blog post detailing books to get to know me by.
All of the below books reveal some aspect of how I think and feel. I’m not telling you which bits are in which book, that would be too easy!
Aside from the books by me and short stories by me, the below books reveal a lot about me.
The list of books.
Hannah Moskowitz (Author)
Isabel has one rule: no dating.
–for the other person.
She’s got issues. She’s got secrets. She’s got rheumatoid arthritis.
But then she meets another sick kid.
He’s got a chronic illness Isabel’s never heard of, something she can’t even pronounce. He understands what it means to be sick. He understands her more than her healthy friends. He understands her more than her own father who’s a doctor.
He’s gorgeous, fun, and foul-mouthed. And totally into her.
Isabel has one rule: no dating.
It’s never felt better–
–to consider breaking that rule for him.
They say his clothes blend into the background, no matter where he stands. They say a lot of things about the Schwa, but one thing’s for sure: no one ever noticed him. Except me. My name is Antsy Bonano-and I was the one who realized the Schwa was “functionally invisible” and used him to make some big bucks. But I was also the one who caused him more grief than a friend should. So if you all just shut up and listen, I’ll tell you everything there is to know about the Schwa, from how he got his name, to what really happened with his mom. I’ll spill everything. Unless, of course, “the Schwa Effect” wipes him out of my brain before I’m done…
Don’t get me started on The Bruiser. He was voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” by the entire school. He’s the kid no one knows, no one talks to, and everyone hears disturbing rumors about. So why is my sister, Brontë dating him? One of these days she’s going to take in the wrong stray dog, and it’s not going to end well.
My brother has no right to talk about Brewster that way — no right to threaten him. There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends — why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know because they’re happening to me.
Stealer of screams and thief of anguish, I am a criminal, but you can’t see it, blinded by your own relief as my body becomes a battlefield in a war that can’t be won. Will I be the bullet that ends your pain, or will you end mine?
Award-winning author Neal Shusterman has crafted a chilling and unforgettable novel about the power of unconditional friendship, the complex gear work of a family, and the sacrifices we endure for the people we love.
Cameron: “Deep inside, you know that whoever gets up in your face gets there because he knows you’re nothing, and he knows that you know it too.”
Carla: “What I’m trying to do is to get by, not even get over, just get by.”
Leonard: “I have bought a gaw-juss weapon. It lies beneath my bed like a secret lover, quiet, powerful, waiting to work its magic.”
Statement of Fact: 17-year-old white male found dead in the aftermath of a shooting incident at Madison High School in Harrison County.
Conclusion: Death by self-inflicted wound.
Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar.
Starting high school is never easy. Seniors take your lunch money. Girls you’ve known forever are suddenly beautiful and unattainable. And you can never get enough sleep. Could there be a worse time for Scott’s mother to announce she’s pregnant? Scott decides high school would be a lot less overwhelming if it came with a survival manual, so he begins to write down tips for his new sibling. Meanwhile, he’s trying his best to capture the attention of Julia, the freshman goddess. In the process, Scott manages to become involved in nearly everything the school has to offer. So while he tries to find his place in the confusing world of high school, win Julia’s heart, and keep his sanity, Scott will be recording all the details for his sibling’s—and your—enjoyment.
The Autumn Balloon by Kenny Porpora
Every autumn, Kenny Porpora would watch his heartbroken mother scribble messages on balloons and release them into the sky above Long Island, one for each family member they’d lost to addiction. As the number of balloons grew, his mother fell deeper into alcoholism, drinking away her sorrows every night in front of the television, where her love of Regis Philbin provided a respite from the sadness around her.
When their house was foreclosed upon, Kenny’s mother absconded with him and his beloved dog and fled for the Arizona desert, joining her heroin-addicted brother on a quixotic search for a better life. What followed was an outlaw adolescence spent in constant upheaval surrounded by bizarre characters and drug-addicted souls.
In the wake of unspeakable loss, Kenny convinced a college to take a chance on him, and turned to the mentors, writers, and poets he found to rebuild the family he lost, and eventually graduated from the Ivy League with a new life.
Porpora’s memoir is the story of a deeply dysfunctional but loving family, and follows his life from the chaos of his youth to his triumphs in the Ivy League. At times darkly comic, at times elegiac, The Autumn Balloon is a beautifully written testament to the irreplaceable bonds of family, even under the most trying circumstances, and one that marks the debut of an exciting new writer.
Kids who get called the worst names oftentimes find each other. That’s how it was with us. Skeezie Tookis and Addie Carle and Joe Bunch and me. We call ourselves the Gang of Five, but there are only four of us. We do it to keep people on their toes. Make ’em wonder. Or maybe we do it because we figure that there’s one more kid out there who’s going to need a gang to be a part of. A misfit, like us.
Skeezie, Addie, Joe, and Bobby—they’ve been friends forever. They laugh together, have lunch together, and get together once a week at the Candy Kitchen to eat ice cream and talk about important issues. Life isn’t always fair, but at least they have each other—and all they really want to do is survive the seventh grade.
That turns out to be more of a challenge than any of them had anticipated. Starting with Addie’s refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance and her insistence on creating a new political party to run for student council, the Gang of Five is in for the ride of their lives. Along the way they will learn about politics and popularity, love and loss, and what it means to be a misfit. After years of getting by, they are given the chance to stand up and be seen—not as the one-word jokes their classmates have tried to reduce them to, but as the full, complicated human beings they are just beginning to discover they truly are.
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery.
BEWARE THE HARE!
Is he or isn’t he a vampire?
Before it’s too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household: a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits…and fangs!
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.
In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odor.
No one cares what’s inside.
EM WATTS IS GONE.
Emerson Watts didn’t even want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Gabriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there—along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard.
How was Em to know that disaster would strike, changing her—and life as she’d known it—forever? One devastating accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.
Now getting her best friend Christopher to notice that she’s actually a girl is the least of Em’s problems.
But what Em’s pretty sure she’ll never be able to accept might just turn out to be the one thing that’s going to make her dream come true.
NIKKI HOWARD IS HERE TO STAY
It’s what’s outside that matters.
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs.
This is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead-ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain. Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian in perfect squalor. The doctor’s bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules, there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things got dull, there was always the vintage electroshock therapy machine under the stairs. It is at turns foul and harrowing, compelling and maniacally funny, but above all, it chronicles an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.
Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends–some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.