Crash Book Review

By Ashley Huang

History class is often associated with nap time. Boring lectures droning out of an aged man with a white beard is the perfect recipe for dozing off in class. Or so I thought.

“Crash” by Marc Favreau is 217 pages of fast-paced action and juicily imaginative wording to paint the Great Depression in a tense story that kept me on the edge of my seat. “Crash” was not a 3-inch thick history textbook; it was a gripping story with plot, conflict and the whole shebang. “Crash” was divided by parts, and those parts were divided into chapters. The actual parts wrapped up each main plot point of the Great Depression, ominously named Fall; Rise; Setback; and Victory. But within those parts were stories and figures that came out to be the delightfully fulfilling icing on the cake. Franklin Roosevelt was the big name, but Eleanor Roosevelt was just as big. Herbert Hoover was coined “The Unluckiest President” by Favreau, and it wasn’t until I read the chapter did it all become clear.

Besides the action and emotions expressed throughout “Crash,” I couldn’t help but appreciate the lesser known parts of the Great Depression. Besides the economic debacle, countless issues sprawled out during the Great Depression, simulating some sort of domino effect that rooted from the economy. For example, a great dust storm blew in through the middle of the US, enabling Americans to search far and wide for new jobs and homes. However, immigration was not welcome during this time. Not only were other Americans excluded from jobs, but Mexican immigrants and Jewish immigrants too! We were just finishing up our unit on World War 2 in school, and all the topics were deftly woven together into one beautifully articulated story that opened my eyes.

Oftentimes we fall into the trap of the “single story.” This simply means that we take an entity and stubbornly refuse to view it any other way besides the way we’ve always known to be. Reading about the Great Depression in “Crash” jolted me into the realization that this event isn’t just another chapter in my history textbook: It’s a real-life event with real people, real memories, and real effects.


YA ​Mental Health Books


Since May is National Mental Health Month, here are a couple of books that deal with mental health and how they affect people all over the world:

  1. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

In a totally insane satire, we get a protagonist who is definitely not going to save the world. Mikey is an ordinary teen dealing with anxiety. He manages to put into words what it’s like to live feeling constantly on edge.

2. Turtles all the Way Down by John Green

It’s the story of 16-year-old Aza who is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student—and maybe even a good detective. But she’s also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts, and her struggles with anxiety take the compulsions introduced in some of these other books to new extremes. It’s not always easy to read, but it’s hard not to feel for and fall for Aza as she struggles to live her life.

3. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

In Gayle Forman’s novel, three teens meet by chance in Central Park. One of them is Nathaniel–visiting New York City for the first time with nothing but a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. Throughout the book, he grapples with coming to terms with his father’s mental illness and how it has affected his childhood.

4. Looking for Alaska by John Green

John Green’s 2006 Printz award winner follows Miles Halter’s relationship with Alaska Young and brings to light that we can never completely understand what someone with a mental illness feels inside.

5. I Was Here by Gayle Forman

After her best friend Meg takes her own life, Cody struggles to understand why – but through her journey to find out, she’ll discover that you can’t always know what’s inside the people closest to you.


By: Nitu Girish Mohan

New Releases

Here are couples of the latest new releases in YA Fiction:


1. Ash Princess

Ash Princess is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.


2. War Storm (Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power . . . for all will be tested, but not all will survive.


 3. The Trials of Apollo Book Three The Burning Maze By Rick Riordan

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.


 4. My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

The romance of Stephanie Perkins meets the quirk of Maureen Johnson, then gets a Bollywood twist in this fate-filled debut that takes the future into its own hands.


5. The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark Series #2) by Veronica Roth

In the second book of the Carve the Mark duology, globally bestselling Divergent author Veronica Roth reveals how Cyra and Akos fulfill their fates. The Fates Divide is a richly imagined tale of hope and resilience told in four stunning perspectives.

By: Nitu Girish Mohan

TAB Recommends​

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless otherwise noted.


City of Bones, Cassandra Clare (YFIC CLA)

Suddenly able to see demons and the Shadowhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.


One of Us is Lying, Karen McManus (YMYS MCM)

When one of five students in detention is found dead, his high-profile classmates—including a brainy intellectual, a popular beauty, a drug dealer on probation and an all-star athlete—are investigated and revealed to be the subjects of the victim’s latest gossip postings.


The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas (YFIC THO)

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord trying to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.


Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys (YFIC SEP)

Titanic. Lusitania. Wilhelm Gustloff. All major maritime disasters, yet the last is virtually unknown. Ruta Sepetys changes that in her gripping historical novel. Told in short snippets, Salt to the Sea rotates between four narrators attempting to escape various tragedies in 1945 Europe.


This is Where It Ends, Marieke Nijkamp (YFIC NIJ)

Minutes after the principal of Opportunity High School in Alabama finishes her speech welcoming the student body to a new semester, they discover that the auditorium doors will not open and someone starts shooting as four teens, each with a personal reason to fear the shooter, tell the tale from separate perspectives.


Lord of the Flies, William Golding (FIC GOL)

The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.


The Outsiders, SE Hinton (YFIC HIN)

Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents’ death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves “outsiders.”

Books to Read Over Summer Vacation


Here is a list of some books that the TAB Members enjoy reading during their summer vacation:

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Simon vs. The Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett


By: Nitu Girish Mohan

Future TAB Meeting Dates

Here are the 2018-2019 Meeting Dates:

July 19th

September 13thand 27th

October 11thand 25th

November 15thand 29th

December 13th

January 10thand 24th

February 14thand 28th

March 14thand 28th

April 11thand 25th

May 16th

July 11th

August 15th

We hope to see you there!


By: Nitu Girish Mohan

1984 by George Orwell Review

1984 by George Orwell

Review by Diana Ho

1984, a classic written by famous author, George Orwell, is about a regular man living in dystopian England. He wrote this book in 1948, predicting what life would be like after the war and how there would be a huge division between Party members, who supported Big Brother (government) and the proletariats. The regular man’s name is Winston Smith; he lives an ordinary life in Oceania (England) but meets a young woman Julia. Together, they choose to rebel against the Party and join an underground organization called the Brotherhood. Though once they face the reality of the Brotherhood, they face huge consequences from Big Brother.

This book is one of my favorite novels of all time; it’s hard to understand but it makes you think critically and helps you understand human nature. It evokes emotions that you think you’d never have and keeps you waiting for more. It’s dark, but an extremely powerful book. In my opinion, I think I’d rate it a solid 10/10.

My favorite quote is, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows” (Orwell 77).