Friday, February 28, 2014

Teen Review: Pondering life

The Why Café, by John P. Strelecky

For once, a book that does not reduce the reader to tears. For once, a book that does not have a complicated love aspect and a sappy, romantic ending! John P. Strelecky enthralls readers with his 122-page realistic novel about a man finding his way. I would rate this a 5/5 and recommend to anyone from middle school and up who wants to create an interesting path to take in their life.

The story follows John, an irritable man who gets frustrated when he gets stuck in traffic as he is leaving for a vacation to "recharge the batteries" and get away from work. Lost, tired, and done with the world, John stumbles across a small café in the middle of nowhere.That was just the beginning of the metaphorical images created by this powerful story. After meeting the waitress, Casey, who instantly disarms John with an easy smile, and Mike, an interesting and intellectual cook, John takes a second look at his life as he ponders the three questions printed on the menu.

Take a moment to think about whether or not you would ever like to ask yourself any of these three questions:

Why are you here?
Do you fear death?
Are you fulfilled?

You might glance at these questions and then never think of them again. Once you do think about them however, your life will be forever altered in the most positive way imaginable. Many new insights can be considered, and you may realize how much more to life there is than you once thought.

Strelecky's story is so mind-blowing, and very motivational as well. I was a little reluctant at first to read this, but once I started it, I was surprised by how much more I wanted after each sentence. I cannot imagine any way that The Why Café could be any better than it is. While being placed in John's shoes, I myself have come to realize what it is I have been missing and how to make sure that does not happen again in the future. The cover, a picture of a coffee mug with a question mark in the foam, seemed plain at first, but once I read the book, I found that the cover was its own symbolic way to intrigue the reader to think about the questions presented on the menu.

Reviewed by Amy Sepulveda

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