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Spring Break Book Reviews

We reconvene after a relaxing spring break with some more book reviews from some of the amazing works I had the chance to dive into during a quiet week in South Bend.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown


This book was a fascinating look at authenticity in friendship, especially in forming new relationships as a young adult. What stood out to me in this book was the frank discussion of friendships formed in religious settings. Could anything be more relatable at Notre Dame? The main character, Jo, was delighted to make new friends who shared her views on religion without diminishing her existing friendships.  


If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio

This book convinced me I need to read more mysteries. A fascinating look at a fictional, intense Shakespearean acting school, the seven students are irreparably changed by their immersion in the intense emotions of the plays. When a death shocks the close-knit school community, all of the actors have to determine how much of their lives are spent pretending. The story was all told from ten years in the future, lending a finality to some events, while slowly revealing the consequences, or lack thereof, for all the characters.


Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer

This was actually homework, but a fantastic book. It dives into how we can figure out our lives and the paths we are meant to walk. In this nostalgic time merely two months from graduation, future plans are never far from my thoughts. This book gives some tools to reframe these future thoughts in a way that is truly helpful and allowed me to clarify my feelings about that important day in two months.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

This book was a fascinating discussion of finding family and community and reaching for connection when it is lacking. It tells the story of three teenagers, all biological siblings, who find each other and want to find their mom. It discusses the experiences of adoption versus foster care, and examines how each sibling experienced life growing up. The siblings all had the experience of trying to redefine and reinvent themselves to seem better or less flawed when they first meet, but ultimately discusses what it means to truly encounter another person.

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Julia Erdlen

Notre Dame

I'm a junior living in Ryan Hall. Majoring in English and minoring in Science, Technology, and Values, and Computing and Digital Technologies. I'm from just outside of Philadelphia, and people tend to call out my accent. In the free time I barely have, I'm consuming as much superhero media and as many YA novels as pssible.
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