Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Reviewed by Gabi L.

Image result for Never let me go book

Never Let Me Go begins by looking at the life of Kathy, a thirty-one-year-old carer, who is about to become a donor herself. As a “carer”, Kathy’s job is to look after the health of “donors” until they mysteriously die or “complete”. While caring for one of her last patients, Kathy tells the story of her childhood and relives her memories with her dearest friends Ruth and Tommy. Ruth is a leader and center of attention, while Tommy is the school’s outcast, and Kathy is the glue keeping the three together.

In this alternate universe, scientists in England are cloning human beings and harvesting the clones for their organs. Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy are all clones who attend Hailsham, a boarding school for clones where they are students from ages zero to sixteen. Hailsham is known to be one of the more humane schools for the clones as other, less prestigious schools are rumored to abuse the students. In Never Let Me Go society must decide if the cruelty of cloning is worth the consequences.

Ishiguro’s dystopian world is set in the late 1990s and keeps you on the edge of your seat, eagerly flipping pages. Never Let Me Go is a story that will make you question society and your own morals. Should clones be treated equally to humans? Do clones have emotions? Can they feel pain? Never Let Me Go reveals horrific truths about human nature and the consequences of turning a blind eye to serious issues.


Book Review: The Sixth Man by John Feinstein

The Sixth Man by John Feinstein

Review by Aarya Kumar

The Sixth Man is a realistic fiction novel about freshman Alex Myers and his quest through high school and the Lion’s basketball season. The setting is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alex faces many troubles throughout the season as his dad and mom get divorced and Alex has a new coach, Coach Archer, who is very strict. In addition, a new kid from Detroit moves into town. The kid, Max Bellotti, turns out to be a basketball phenom and he soon plays a pivotal role in the rest of the book. Meanwhile, Max is receiving a lot of unwanted publicity and he is being covered by news stations around the country. One day at lunch, Max reveals a surprising secret that is gay. Max soon opens up publicly about his secret and many people are taken aback. Soon, the semifinals of the basketball championship roll around. The game goes down to the wire and eventually Max hits a game-winning shot, however, Max is hit in the head with a baseball thrown by an anti-gay supporter. Max recovers, however, the principal decides it is unsafe for Max to play in the finals. The ruling is overturned and Max gets to play and the Lions end up winning the championship.

TAB Recommends, 1/24

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.


Small Steps, Louis Sachar – YFIC SAC

Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is trying hard to keep his life on track, but when his old pal X-Ray shows up with a tempting plan to make some easy money scalping concert tickets, Armpit reluctantly goes along.


And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie – MYS CHR

Ten houseguests, trapped on an isolated island, are the prey of a diabolical killer. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion: Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine–When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale?


The War Outside, Monica Hesse – YFIC HES

Teens Haruko, a Japanese American, and Margot, a German American, form a life-changing friendship as everything around them starts falling apart in the Crystal City family internment camp during World War II.


Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte – FIC BRO

Heathcliff, an orphan, is raised by Mr Earnshaw as one of his own children. Hindley despises him but wild Cathy becomes his constant companion, and he falls deeply in love with her. When she will not marry him, Heathcliff’s terrible vengeance ruins them all – but still his and Cathy’s love will not die…


The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah – FIC HAN

Leni and her troubled family embark on a new way of life in Alaska’s wilderness in 1974 – hoping this is finally the solution for her troubled, POW father. In Alaska, Leni and her family are tested and when change comes to their small community her father’s anger threatens to explode and divide the town. This is a beautifully written novel, descriptive and engaging with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place.


To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee – FIC LEE

Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming, and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Scout’s carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice.


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. Powerful and haunting, heartbreaking and hopeful–a must read.


Simon vs. the Homo-Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli – YFIC ALB

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.


Mockingbird, Kathryn Erskine – JFIC ERS

Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.


Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, James Swanson – 973.7 S

Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, CHASING LINCOLN’S KILLER is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia. – from goodreads


Warriors Don’t Cry, Melba Beals – 370.19 B

The landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, brought the promise of integration to Little Rock, Arkansas, but it was hard-won for the nine black teenagers chosen to integrate Central High School in 1957. They ran the gauntlet between a rampaging mob and the heavily armed Arkansas National Guard, dispatched by Governor Orval Faubus to subvert federal law and bar them from entering the school. President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded by sending in soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division, the elite “Screaming Eagles” – and transformed Melba Pattillo and her eight friends into reluctant warriors on the battlefield of civil rights. – from goodreads


Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro – FIC ISH

A reunion with two childhood friends–Ruth and Tommy–draws Kath and her companions on a nostalgic odyssey into the supposedly idyllic years of their lives at Hailsham, an isolated private school in the serene English countryside, and a dramatic confrontation with the truth about their childhoods and about their lives in the present.


The Iron King, Maurice Druon – FIC DRU

Set in the year 1314, the story takes place during the reign of despotic French King Philip the Fair and focuses on disenfranchised Lord Robert of Artois, whose attempts to reclaim his birthright ignite a conflict that will engulf all of France and destroy a dynasty.

TAB Recommends, 12/13

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.


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.


A Mercy, Toni Morrison (FIC MOR)

In exchange for a bad debt, an Anglo-Dutch trader takes on Florens, a young slave girl, who feels abandoned by her slave mother and who searches for love–first from an older servant woman at her master’s new home, and then from a handsome free blacksmith, in a novel set in late seventeenth-century America.


The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (YSF COL)

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.


Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt (JFIC BAB)

A family accidentally stumbles upon a spring with water endowing them with the gift of eternal life. Seventy years later, without having grown a day older, a young girl discovers them and learns their secret.


Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson (JFIC JAM)

A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart.


Uprooted, Naomi Novik (SF NOV)

Once every ten years, a powerful wizard known as the Dragon chooses one young woman from Agnieszka’s valley and spirits her away to his enchanted tower. Agnieszka expects him to take her best friend, Kasia, who’s beautiful, clever, and brave. However, when Agnieszka is chosen instead of Kasia, she discovers untapped talents, challenges the Dragon’s rules (and patience), and battles the malevolent influence of the nearby enchanted Wood in order to save the people she loves. Based on Polish folklore, this stand-alone novel by Temeraire series author Naomi Novik, is a fantastical coming-of-age tale combining magic, warfare, politics, and romance. — Description by Gillian Speace.


All Out, editor Saundra Mitchell (YFIC 808.83 A)

A collection of historical fiction featuring a transgender soldier, two girls falling in love while mourning Kurt Cobain, and forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent.

Book Review: Hearts Unbroken, Cynthia Leitich Smith

Hearts Unbroken

Cynthia Leitich Smith


Everyone has their thing. Being a football player, an all A student, a baker, whatever it is, you’re proud of it. For Louise, it’s being a Native American journalist. She is very conscious of the fact that she is Native in an almost all white community. So when her boyfriend Cam makes fun of Native people, she’s had enough. Louise barely misses him. She has her new group of journalist friends, and there’s that one boy who catches Louise’s eye: Joey.

When their drama teacher casts the spring musical – The Wizard of Oz – colorblind, the whole community is in an uproar. Joey and Louise go around town and capture different sides of the story for their school newspaper. In doing so, they spend a lot of time together. As the controversy of the play rises, so does the heat between Joey and Louise. Although, maybe dating isn’t the best thing to do at the moment…

Follow the story of a brave young lady fighting for what she thinks is right. Cheer Louise on as she helps her society think differently and as she discovers what’s right for herself in the process. Hearts Unbroken is a beautiful story of turning a public scandal into something to be proud of. Reading this book, you will learn how to fight against controversy and how to be proud of who you are, no matter what anyone says.

Book Review: A Heart in a Body in the World, Deb Caletti

A Heart in a Body in the World

Deb Caletti


Annabelle Agnelli has a good life. She has good friends and a good family. She has all she needs in life. So, when tragedy strikes, Annabelle doesn’t know what to do but run. What else can she do when everything she cares about has been taken from her? For 2700 miles she runs. From Seattle to DC. For five months she runs away from the tragedy that follows her.  From The Taker, the boy who haunts her. From everything that she feels inside.

When Annabelle starts running, she doesn’t do it for the publicity or the attention. She does it for herself. When her run starts getting more attention, she is seen as an activist. she meets with people to show them her side of the story. Accompanied by her grandfather and backed by her self-appointed publicity team, Annabelle becomes a national icon. This would all be nice if Annabelle could escape from her past. Of course, it isn’t her fault…right?

A Heart in a Body in the World is a beautiful story about a girl who runs for self-preservation, but her story becomes so much more.

Grendel by John Gardner Book Review

Book Review by Esha

Grendel is a book following a monster that is one of the few antagonists in a well known epic poem called Beowulf. It goes around his story, explaining why he is the way he is and shows his side of the story that opposes the way that the poem was so quick to denounce him as a monster. However, this isn’t the only thing the book is doing as it follows along in the story. Every chapter uses different philosophies and all of the zodiac signs, and in each chapter, it would bring in themes from both. Sometimes it would be in the dialogue or in the description. Sometimes it would be in the way that the characters behave which reflect both the zodiac sign and the philosophy. It introduces not only the well-known philosophies such as Nihilism and Existentialism, but it also introduces ones that might be new to the readers such as process philosophy or Sophism. In this way, it not only brings an interesting spin to a poem that’s been around for nearly a thousand years, but it also introduces topics that the reader might find interesting and could possibly even change the way that they view the world. Aside from these, it pulls in elements from the time period that the poem was written in, and shows what kind of society they lived in. It shows the beliefs of the characters, how important religion was to them, and the roles of the different people in the community. In many ways this story can be educative- from the themes that are present throughout and the way that it ties in the time period that the original poem was written in, it is an interesting read that ties in well to the writing that inspired it.