I love all the books on the list. You chose ONLY four. Of the four, which was your favorite, and more importantly, WHY? Give us some meat here; don't settle for a "get it done" answer. With that said, check back to see if others are on the same page as you, and make a comment. OR, perhaps someone is on the total opposite side of the spectrum. Discuss! 
Maddie Williams
9/5/2012 05:43:52 am

My favorite book that I read this summer, hands down, was The Kite Runner. Even though the story was depressing and disturbing at some points, it had a beautiful ending. I loved how much I learned about the culture of Afghanistan and how Hosseini brought the story line together, with Amir adopting Hassan's son, his nephew, as his own in the end. Basically, I loved everything about it.
n.

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Darcy Copeland
9/5/2012 06:37:23 am

My favorite book has to be either "Into the Wild" or "The Kite Runner." "Into the Wild" really made me think about human nature to be both social and alone, reserved and adventurous. Though the story of what happened to the young Chris McCandless is tragic, it made me stop and think about how far we are willing to go in order to prove a point and find some meaning. "The Kite Runner" was wonderful, despite it making me cringe in some parts. It really opened my eyes to Afghan culture and traditions. All in all, though, it was a really remarkable story about regret and redemption.

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Danielle Curley
9/5/2012 06:39:27 am

My favorite books i read this summer was A Thousand Splendid Suns, i like the plot and how it had surprises.

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Collin Halamka
9/5/2012 06:50:34 am

I think that "Generation Kill" was the best book, in my opinion. It has a combonation of suspens, combined with the military humor Wright brings out so thouroughly. It was truely a good read, and I plan on buying it to add to my collection of war related novels.

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Sara Buckle
9/5/2012 07:12:32 am

My favorite book was "A Thousand Splendid Suns". It was a very eye-opening and somewhat maddening novel that I couldn't tear my eyes off of. The plot turned and twisted abruptly and had a beautifully melancholy ending. I think that the reason I liked this more than "The Kite Runner" is because "A Thousand Splendid Suns" was more complex in style, but that's just my taste. Both were very eye opening to things that not only teenagers, but most Americans don't know enough about.

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Emma Chester
9/5/2012 07:19:11 am

I agree with Maddie and Darcy about The Kite Runner. Not only was it entertaining and educational, but I was truly invested in it. It was neat to see the characters develop and have connections made throughout the story. Being able to understand Amir's thoughts and inner turmoil as well as his motivation for doing or not doing certain things made him a really likeable character and someone that was easy to "forgive." I liked how everything suddenly made sense when he learned that Baba was Hassan's father, and his adventure to adopt Sohrab gave Amir a compassionate side that I didn't recognize earlier on. I also felt more knowledgable about the world we live in after reading the book because of all the Afghan culture that was incorporated. It was a truly incredible book; I loved every page!

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Jeremy M. Barker
9/5/2012 07:44:56 am

My favorite book that I read this summer is "In Cold Blood," by Capote. I loved the characters and how it really connected you personally to the killers. Obviously they were doing the wrong thing by murdering a family, but I still really got to know the characters and could relate to them. This is a very horrible event that happened in history, but I was glad that to read about it. Seeing how all of the people in the town that the Clutter family was murdered in reacted and dealt with the case was interesting. Because the book became so close to all the characters that I could actually relate to and understand, I really enjoyed this book.

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Wendland Jared
9/5/2012 07:53:51 am

Of the books I elected to read A Thousand Splendid Suns was by far the victor. This book out shined the rest with its well-developed plot and unique characters. Even with the book being mostly sad, when the characters finally succeed or were rescued it was up lifting. I also enjoyed the way Khaled Hosseini chose to write this piece. The alternating view points between Mariam and Laila were interesting and made the bond that they eventually create feel true. One more thing that was great was Hosseini’s insert of Afghan culture. The culture was a nice touch and tied the setting together well. All around A Thousand Splendid Suns was quite enjoyable.

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Jerred Zielke
9/5/2012 08:39:05 am

My favorite book that i read this summer was definitely A Thousand Splendid Suns. Hosseini got me hooked right away and taught me a lot about Afghan culture. I never knew what was going to happen next and I liked the ending.

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Alex Forsythe
9/5/2012 09:22:50 am

My favorite book that I read this summer had to be A Thousand Splendid Suns. Although it was very similar to the Kite Runner, I liked the storyline better, There was a lot more action and events taking place this is book. Th author did a nice job of keeping you into the book. I didn't seem to think that there was one dull moment. There were many sad parts, but also many uplifting parts. This was by my favorite, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that thought so.

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Kelsey Berndt
9/5/2012 09:46:44 am

I'd say A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Glass Castle tie for my favorite book. A Thousand Splendid Suns was intense, and it was definitely amazing to see how women in Afghanistan lived. Obviously the specific story is not true, but it's so realistic. I absolutely loved the characters, I don't think there's a way a book written by a man from a woman's perspective could possibly be done better. He captures the sorrow and heartbreak of Mariam and Laila so well. The Glass Castle is my other favorite because it is just so inspiring. Walls was raised in such an strange way, making hot dogs by herself at the age of three, I still can hardly make food for myself. She makes me want to go out into the world and be completely self-sufficient.

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Taylor Dale
9/5/2012 09:56:58 am

My favorite book that I read this summer was "The Devil in the White City," but very closely followed by "A Thousand Splendid Suns" so close that I say they are tied for my favorites. "The Devil in the White City" is one of my favorites because it took you back in time, to the building of the World's Fair in Chicago. Erik Larson also wrote about two different stories that happened at the same time and managed to link them together. He also wrote about the economic down turn America was going through at that time. The story also contained a very twisted murder story. The author always kept you guessing, he never came out and said that the murder had murdered. I liked "A Thousand Splendid Suns" for all same reason that have already been mentioned. The best part though was that the author managed to connect it with "The Kite Runner" when he wrote about the orphanage. It was the same orphanage in bot books.

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Alex Miller
9/5/2012 10:21:21 am

My favorite book that I read this summer was "Innocent Man," because of the topic of the book. Murder mystery keeps the reader interested by what the end result may become. The way the author leads the reader to the murder and the amount of detail he puts in the text about the murder scene makes the reader shiver in disgust. The text discussing the characters allowed the reader to determine why the police made the mistake they did and allowed the reader to stay on their toes. Also, the book kept one guessing on what will come next in the chapters to come. Hands down the "Innocent Man," was the best.

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Richard Harris
9/5/2012 10:34:28 am

Generation Kill by Evan Wright was my favorite book. I wanted to read Gen. Kill because I am crazy about everything related to the military. I enjoyed the crude but funny military humor. I also loved the detailed (and sometimes graphic) descriptions of the fear and excitement one experiences in a war. Generation Kill is an amazing true story about the first Marines to invade Iraq and is definitely one of my most favorite military books.

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9/5/2012 10:48:59 am

My favorite book would definitely have to be "The Kite Runner". Hosseini, to me, created a fantastic story line that always kept me interested. He gave the reader a great inside look to the intense Afghan culture which I had previously known very little about. I read this book in only two days, which was the fastest time I think I've ever gotten through a book. It was really challenging to put the book down due to all of the excitement throughout it. This plot stuck with me the longest because all of the wonderful details that were so meticulously described. I also agree with what Emma said about how it was so interesting to watch the characters develop throughout the story.

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Sam Johnson
9/5/2012 10:56:21 am

My favorite book was Angelas Ashes. It was snarky and was the only book I read that I felt didnt take itself too seriously. That and I guess that my favorite books are the ones that are not written by people who are just writers. "If you want to live forever write something worth reading or do something worth writing." I enjoy reading authors that do both like Richard Feynman or Groucho Marx. Thats dandy if you can make up a fun story but its only amazing if you lived it.

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Margaret Miller
9/5/2012 11:00:59 am

I loved all the books I read this summer but my favoritve one was "The Devil in the White City". I loved how I got to learn so much about the city of Chicago and areas so close to where we live as well as being entertained with this awful situtaion that was going on as well. It was an awesome book, I loved how the author combined eveything that happened in that time into one story.

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Katelyn Tillstrom
9/5/2012 11:18:43 am

It's a tough choice, but I really enjoyed A Thousand Splendid Suns. The two girls's stories were touching and interesting to read. I could hardly put it down at some points! I agree with some on here in the fact that it really was very eye-opening. It was defititely rather unsettling, but I suppose that's what made it so intriguing for me. I almost cried at the end! I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

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9/5/2012 11:23:48 am

Personally, the favorite book I read was "The Kite Runner". I enjoyed the story because the confict never really ended until the end of the book. The main character, Amir, lives with the fact of regret that he never helped out his friend when his friend needed him most. Many people, including myself, have been put in the situation of Amir and Hassan, which made the book entertaining for me.

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Leland Dunwoodie
9/5/2012 11:30:10 am

I thoroughly enjoyed "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. As a self-proclaimed history junkie, I loved that I learned plentiful amounts of World War Two history in this book. (Dare I say that it was comparable to the amount of Soviet history I learned in Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October.") I also was mesmerized by how Louis managed to struggle and survive through all of the adversity he faced during his life, even while death surrounded him and, on many occacsions, faced him head on. I also found Louis' religious revival near the end of the book to be quite inspriring. In sum, I not only enjoyed this book but this book also educated and wowed me.

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Justin Marutz
9/5/2012 11:41:19 am

Though it took sometime for me to get into the book, Kite Runner was perhaps my favorite. Just the relationships between the main character Amir and his father Baba as well as Hassan. The growth and even separation between them is fantastic, as well as the element of realism Hosseini adds to the story which leads to the eventual attachment of them. Though the story is quite sad and disturbing at points though all in all it is quite touching. Though what is one of the most important aspects of the book being redemption and just telling a tale about how wonderful and terrible can be.

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9/5/2012 12:36:17 pm

My favorite book was either The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns. I had already read both before and I could probably read them a hundred more times. They aren't some stupid made up fiction, it's real. They show what is actually happening over in Afghanistan. It gave me a better understanding of the war.

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Big_D (David Tarnowski)
9/5/2012 01:26:26 pm

My favorite summer reading book was probably, The Devil in the White City. It was an exciting book all the way through and I could hardly believe that it was non-fiction. I will admit that I looked forward to the chapters with H. H. Holmes (the murderer).It was in these chapters that the author goes into the mind of the murderer and kind of explains who he was. I found this to be incredibly interesting. Another thing that caused me to love this book, was the simple fact that all of this happened across the lake. I went to the Museum of Science and Industry after I read the book and could not stop thinking about the fact that the building was from the Colombian Exposition.

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Mrs. Z
9/6/2012 05:15:20 am

I felt the same way. I'd rush through the other chapters to get to the Holmes parts!

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Austin latack
9/5/2012 01:35:10 pm

My favorite book was "A Thousand Splendid Suns." Yes, I did think the beginning started off confusing, and a little slow, but Hosseini found a way to pick up the story and create an incredible plot, with endless suspense.

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Jeff Lueders
9/6/2012 06:13:55 am

My favorite book of the summer was A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. This book intrigued me by taking me into the country of South Africa and explaining their history, beliefs, and especially their political views. It was an amazing story about gaining racial equality and it really opened my eyes to just how bad racism can be. Most people think of what America used to be when they think of racism, but this book shows how worse South Africa was. Of course it shows, as well, how Mandela helped turn things around and his incredible journey to do so. Overall, it's a keeper.

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Dylan Gustafson
9/6/2012 06:29:38 am

My favorite book of the summer would have to be A Thousand Splendid Suns. This was probably the first book I've ever read where I felt really connected with the main characters. I was able to feel sad when Laila and Mariam were constantly abused by Rasheed. Hosseini also did a fantastic job on splitting up the chapters between the point of views of Laila and Mariam. Although Mariam gets killed, I was very satisfied on how the story ended.

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Kaylee Marshall
9/6/2012 07:34:03 am

My favorite book from over the summer had to be The Devil in the White City. It was written in a style that I don't usually read, so it took awhile for me to really get into it, but once I did I couldn't put it down. The plot of this cunning serial killer seemed something of fantasy and the fact that these events really occurred blew my mind and only drew me in further. It was a book I had planned to read for leisure, so it was wonderful to be able to tackle it for a class!

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Evan Pille
9/6/2012 07:42:21 am

My favorite book that I read this summer was "Devil in the White City". I love the way the book takes the worlds fair and a cereal killer and uses them to display the deep contrast in the world. Most stories just show either the joy or the pain of the world; this book however shows that people can create truly beautiful things they are also capable of great evil.

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Jacob DeSutter
9/6/2012 08:06:38 am

My favorite book this summer was "The Kite Runner". This book shows how people's own guilt can force them to make terrible choices- and how you can atone for them. It also compares and contrasts individual achievement and how we attempt to force ourselves and others into roles we don't belong in (whether we do this on purpose is a different question.)

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Caitlin Morgan
9/6/2012 08:27:41 am

Out of all the books I've read this summer, The Glass Castle would probably fall on the top of the list. Jeannette Walls captures every last bit of emotion from the reader, and holds it hostage. Her story is told with miraculously casual ease, keeping you hooked, and turning each page with a craving for more. To endure that much anguish in your life and still turn out successfully independent, to me, seems impossible. My heart broke when her dad passed on, despite their uniquely wounded bond, and I'll admit, I'm still a little attached to the characters of her family.

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Ravi Shah
9/6/2012 08:29:11 am

My favorite book was "A Thousand Splendid Suns." I enjoyed how Hosseini used the characters and got the reader to empathize with them, making them feel more like real people than fictional characters. Another thing I liked about this book was the vast differences between Mariam and Leila, but how they ended up being very similar to each other and being drawn together by a mutual enemy. Over all, I feel that this book is the best.

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Samir Shah
9/6/2012 08:35:17 am

My favorite book by far was "Persepolis". The book was very realistic, while at the same time showed a sassy, rebellious side of a women living in Iran. Although it was not as serious or sad as the "Kite Runner" or "A Thousand Splendid Suns" it still showed how strict and scary life can be in the middle east, especially in the 1980's. I also feel like the book could connect better with teens the the other two. This is because in the story the main character moves to Europe to escape the war, and experiences friends dealing with drugs and alcohol. I feel like this book wasn't as informational as "The Kite Runner" or "A Thousand Splendid" but instead of showing all the horrors of war, it showed how people coped with being on such a tight leash by the government. For instance, multiple times in the book the main character would be going to parties and drinking alcohol all in secret, two things that were against the law.

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Rachel K Tuller
9/6/2012 08:57:06 am

My favorite book by far was "The Glass Castle." I loved reading that book. Walls made every memory she had into its own little story and then all those little stories were tied all together to create a wonderful book that was very enjoyable to read. As the story continued, I felt like I truly got to know the characters and I could react with Walls to the events that happened, especially with her dad. Overall though, it was a wonderful book. I loved it.

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Kaytlynn Toering
9/6/2012 09:11:05 am

I have to agree with Rachel. My favorite book was "The Glass Castle." With every page turn, I found myself more and more intrigued by the plot and the story in which the author told...and to believe that it actually happened to her. The differrent parts of the book that made up her life was unimaginable-to undergo that many challenges makes her a strong person. The hidden imagery stood out to me especially. In my opinion, the glass castle stood for the one hope in the Walls' life, and help them get through hardships. I absolutely loved this book and I hope to read more of her work in the future.

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Evan Kiel
9/6/2012 09:20:37 am

My favorite book that I read this summer was "Devil in the White City". I like how it showed the connections of the fair to the future of the United States and the people that we read about today. I also found how much Holmes got away with interesting. I was always questioning how convincing he had to be to trick all these people out of their money and not immediately force him pay even after a group of them met.

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Kasey Shoemaker
9/6/2012 09:32:18 am

"Devil in the White City" was also my favorite. the Columbian Exchange is one of my favorite things in history so right off, I was excited to read the book. The parts with Holmes gave the book an extra kick of interest and I really enjoyed it.

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9/6/2012 09:56:29 am

The Kite Runner was a fantastic book and my overall favorite. The way the author told the story was seamless and evocative. It was astounding how much honesty and heartache filled each page, and yet hope managed to emerge at some point, which kept it intriguing. It was so sad finding out the horrible means of which Hassan met his end. I sympathized with Hosseini through every bitter tragedy he relayed. Everything led up to a very satisfying conclusion, consisting of Khaled masterfully flying a kite once again, with Sohrab at his side.

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Danielle Keenan
9/6/2012 10:21:42 am

Persepolis was my favorite book this summer. It really opened my eyes to what people in Afghanistan lived through when their country was taken over and was changed to a republic. It was book where I could relate to her because the main character Marjane is only a couple years younger than me. It made me realize what freedoms we have because in their country they had to sneak in posters and tapes.

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Mason Freehling
9/6/2012 10:25:37 am

My favorite book had to be A Thousand Splendid Suns. For one, it actually kept me in the story with all the action taking place. It also had numerous characters whose stories were all well told with great detail. The one thing I disliked about the book was when it took about a twelve chapter break from Mariam and kept with Laila. Not that I have anything against Laila, but I started with Mariam and it would have been nice to stick with her the whole way through.

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Evan Scieszka
9/6/2012 10:27:29 am

My favorite book was with extreme certainty, Unbroken. The extreme will possessed by Louis Zamperini left me in awe after tradegy after tradegy in his fight to survive unfolded. As every day spent on the life raft and every merciless beating given to him at the hands of his japanesse captors were described so vividly, the reader hangs on to every word. Since the book was non-fiction it makes the story all the more incredible and inspiring. This is certainly one of my favorite books fiction or otherwise.

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Jordon Young
9/6/2012 11:02:25 am

Evan, that is a great way of putting it. This is the kind of book that is nearly impossible to put down, and easy to pick up--something I didn't experience with the other three books I read(Devil, Kite, Sun). They were all "good" books, but what set this one apart, what made it great was the way it resolved after the climax. The author could have stopped as soon as the war was over and the POWs knew they were finally going home, but she didn't. In reading this book, you get to see the conflict during the war, the brutality of it, and also see the aftermath: how Louis assimilates into civilian life after his captors tried to take his dignity, his humanity. All of these considered, there was one more thing. I don't want to ruin for everyone the part of Louis's story that truly made this book special to me, but I will say that regardless of if you are religious or not, it will impact you. I would highly recommend this book.

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Courtney Bennett
9/6/2012 10:34:05 am

My favorite book I read over the summer was A Thousand Splendid Suns. I liked it because Hosseini exposed the horrors and hardships that people, especially women, had to face in Afghanistan. He not only manages to convey Afghanistan's history and culture to readers, but he intertwines a captivating story that follows the grievous lives of two people. I had a strong emotional attachment to Mariam and Laila as I witnessed their strength, endurance, and sacrifice in the midst of war and personal tragedy. I was especially fond of the very end of the book as I read about Laila's turnout. It demonstrates that good things can still happen, even after terrible events. I had a hard time putting this book down, and am glad to have read it.

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Marcus Shannon
9/6/2012 10:35:38 am

I really felt like "The Kite Runner" was my favorite. Amir's story had a redemption feel to it with him redeeming his actions towards Hassan through Sohrab. I also enjoyed some symbolism in the book with the kite running festival. That is the feeling of joy and happiness while Assef embodies the cruelty that has happened in Amir's life with Hassan.

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Kathleen Risk
9/6/2012 10:54:25 am

For the same reasons as Leland, my favorite would have to be "Unbroken." Being obsessed with history, especially that of WWII, this book captured my attention from the start. Reading of all the struggles Louie endured, from the Olympics to surviving on a raft and in Japanese POW camps, was always exciting and heartbreaking at the same time. Another thing that made me love this book was how after Louie suffered from PTSD and was an alcoholic, he changed, became born again, and dedicated his life to helping the lives of others. He even forgave the brutal guards!

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Colby Clark
9/6/2012 11:03:29 am

"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand was undoubtedly the most captivating book that I read over summer break. The adversity and horrors that Louis Zamperini endured were both incredible and terrifying. While this book had a plethora of intriguing historical snippets, it was the trial of mind, body, and spirit that made this book so engrossing to me. I felt emotionally invested in Louis and how his fate played out. Like Leland, I also enjoyed Louis' spiritual revival at the conclusion of the story. I would recommend this book to everyone taking the class. Sometimes it is important to remember that human beings have an incredible ability to endure the most treacherous hardships, even if they do have a little help.

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Kaity Wade
9/6/2012 11:15:44 am

Of the four, I would have to say that "The Glass Castle" had to be of my favorites. Kite Runner was definitely second on my list, but The Glass Castle had a wow factor to it that captivated more than any of the other books. This book was about her life, but everything that happened to her was astonishing! I loved to see how she came from a whole bunch of horrible circumstances, but she overcame those to make a happy life for herself. Because of the awful things she endured growing up, there were so many life lessons in her book that I really took away. For example, towards the beginning where she is studying the Joshua Tree and its odd nature, her mom tells her, "It's the struggle that gives the Joshua Tree its beauty." I loved that, and Jeanette Walls definitely is a perfect example of that. Her unending forgiveness to her father for basically ruining their lives, baffles me. She is an incredible human being, and unlike all the other books, I was drawn in and captivated by her perseverance.

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Michael Gorton
9/6/2012 11:19:26 am

I have to say mine was without question "A Thousand Splendid Suns". To me, it wasn't quite as depressing as "The Kite Runner", plus I enjoyed how the bulk of the novel was told through two separate main characters. Although Mariam had a life full of social discrimination, she finally found two younger women that she could befriend. As for Laila, her life may have been tough, but in the end, everything really seemed to pull together for her. Not only were the characters interesting, but Hosseini managed to make me want to read more by his unique style of writing.

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Kylie Wermund
9/6/2012 12:08:57 pm

A Thousand Splendid Suns was my favorite of the four books. I like how it switched between characters. That kept it interesting for me. I think a factor that caused me to enjoy this book more than Kite Runner was that it was told through a woman's point of view rather than a man's. I also really liked how the history of Afghanistan was a part of the story. I never felt like I was being given a history lesson while reading it.

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Lauren Clem
9/6/2012 12:29:58 pm

"A Thousand Splendid Suns" was not only an entertaining, easy read, but it was also filled with a sense of the distinct culture and average lifestyles in Afghanistan. Through the lives of the main characters, the author was able to discuss important topics like women's roles, the struggles of war, and the strong relationships between friends and family. What made me finish the book so quickly was the message the author sent to his readers. He really emphasized the importance of personal sacrifice in order to move on in life. And, in the end, maybe things don't end up as bad as one would have pictured it to be.

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9/6/2012 08:34:21 pm

My favorite book was definitely The Glass Castle. The story was so real it pulled me in to read what happens next. It was a very informative book on the hardships on some families and taught me a lot about what some families go through. Jeanette Wells is a great character for the way she always believes in her father and tries to overlook the bad things he does. She has a good outlook on things and didn't give up on life and made it out okay even though she wasn't given an easy path to take. The book was truly inspiring.

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Owen "The Exterminator" Carow
9/6/2012 09:23:46 pm

My favorite of the four books was probably Into the Wild. Chris reminded me a lot of myself, so it was easy to identify with him and I was really interested to find out how he came to be in Alaska. The writing was grippingly made, which I expected because I am a fan of Krakauer's other books.

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Owen "The Exterminator" Carow
9/6/2012 09:29:28 pm

For whatever reason this website wouldn't let me type any more into my last comment, so I'll finish up my thoughts in this comment. Throughout the book, Chris had plenty of adventures, and Krakauer used each one to highlight new details about who Chris really was. It amazed me how thorough the writing was, and how well the reader was able to understand Chris by the end.

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WIll
9/9/2012 05:48:33 am

Deffinatley was into the wild!! just a good story about how some people refuse to bend to societie's ways and live life as they want to instead of conforming

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Gunner
9/19/2012 08:45:55 am

I liked Unbroken because i am really into the military and it was very interesting.

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Curtis Clarke (C-SWAG)
9/20/2012 10:11:41 am

The best book i read this summer was Into The Wild because it was pretty interesting and personally it was different from other books that i have read.

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