The Cider House Rules is an enchanting book by John Irving, perfect for any high school student. It is a realistic fiction story following the life of Homer Wells, an orphan from St. Cloud's, Maine. The book begins in an orphanage by a hospital. As Homer's father figure, Doctor Wilbur Larch, performs abortions in secrecy, waiting for Homer to take over, Homer goes on an adventure to find himself, wherein he travels to an orchard. He meets new friends and is haunted by old ones. It is a journey that takes you (and him) home.
If the first sentence didn't imply enough, this book is spectacular. Don't be fooled by its tiny size, it took me two weeks to read. I loved the hauntingly human characters, with their perfect facades concealing terribly realistic flaws. I loved the jokes throughout, as well as the tone the author uses (it's serious, and yet hilarious).
The book is adult in its themes and length, so while I'd definitely recommend this, it's not for people younger than 14. I'd give it a 4.8 out of 5.
Reviewed by Louie Zekowski, grade 8