Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Reviews / Book Reviews

Check out these book reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring reviews of fiction and nonfiction for adults, children and teens! These book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.

"14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Murder Club, #14)" by James Patterson

'14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Murder Club, #14)' by James Patterson

Adult Book ★★★★ The latest book in the popular Women's Murder Club series finds LAPD Detective Lindsay Boxer trying to solve a series of crimes that hits a little too close to home. Robberies and murders are being committed by a group of men who wear masks and LAPD uniforms. As panic among the public sets in, Lindsay is left to determine whether these criminals are really police officers. And if they are, is there anyone left she can trust? As the story p ...

Reviewed by Laura W. Read more reviews of "14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Murder Club, #14)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness" by Sasha Martin

'Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness' by Sasha Martin

Adult Book ★★★★★ Blogger Sasha Martin may be best known for Global Table Adventure, the blog where she chronicled her culinary journeys cooking recipes from every country. Her memoir does discuss the blog, as well as her picky husband's foray into exotic foods, but the majority of the memoir focuses on the tragedies Martin experienced as a child, and how it affected her adult life. Martin's candid recollections and her vivid descriptions of food made this ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness" at Goodreads.com. »

"Beneath the Bonfire: Stories" by Nickolas Butler

'Beneath the Bonfire: Stories' by Nickolas Butler

Adult Book ★★★★ Nickolas Butler, author of "Shotgun Lovesongs," returns with a beautiful and memorable collection of short stories. Like the characters in his debut novel, Butler introduces readers to realistic characters who could be a neighbor, friend, or family member. If you enjoyed his debut novel, make sure to add this book to your summer reading list. ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Beneath the Bonfire: Stories" at Goodreads.com. »

"Rebel Queen" by Michelle Moran

'Rebel Queen' by Michelle Moran

Adult Book ★★★★ Set in India during British occupation, this historical novel follows Sita, a young woman chosen to serve the queen of Jhansi, known as Rani Lakshmi. Sita is an intelligent and strong female character, devoted to her younger sister and her position to guard the queen as a member of the Durga Dal. Rani Lakshmi is eventually called the Rebel Queen after a series of uprisings against the British. The title is a bit misleading, because it is m ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Rebel Queen" at Goodreads.com. »

"When Fraser Met Billy: An Autistic Boy, a Rescue Cat, and the Transformative Power of Animal Connections" by Louise Booth

'When Fraser Met Billy: An Autistic Boy, a Rescue Cat, and the Transformative Power of Animal Connections' by Louise Booth

Adult Book ★★★★ This is a true story about a struggling family, their autistic son, Fraser and a special grey shelter cat named Billy who brought them love, happiness and hope. With Billy in his life, gradually Fraser had less tantrums, was less anxious about changes, and less moody. Also diagnosed with hypotonia, a muscle condition, Billy also helped him learn to climb stairs and develop his muscles. This is a heartwarming story about the power of a pet ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "When Fraser Met Billy: An Autistic Boy, a Rescue Cat, and the Transformative Power of Animal Connections" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Tale of Halcyon Crane" by Wendy Webb

'The Tale of Halcyon Crane' by Wendy Webb

Adult Book ★★★★ I happily stumbled upon this atmospheric novel and immediately couldn't put it down. We meet Hallie, a woman who receives a very mysterious and unbelievable letter from a woman who claims to be her long-lost mother. When Hallie confronts her beloved father, days before he dies, she learns the letter is no lie. What she grew up believing is, and she travels to the island in the middle of the Great Lakes where her mother lived and very recen ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Tale of Halcyon Crane" at Goodreads.com. »

"Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)" by Victoria Aveyard

'Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)' by Victoria Aveyard

Teen Book ★★★★ Looking for a new dystopian series? Give this excellent debut novel a try! Mare Barrow is a thief living in a village with the rest of her family, born into poverty because of the color of her blood. The Reds are a lower caste than the aristocratic Silvers, who have superhero-esque abilities in addition to silver blood. Mare is offered a chance to work as a servant in one of the Silver palaces and escape her fate of serving in the army. A ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Getting There: A Book of Mentors" by Gillian Zoe Segal

'Getting There: A Book of Mentors' by Gillian Zoe Segal

Adult Book ★★★★★ Curious about how Warren Buffett, Jillian Michaels, or Michael Bloomberg became so successful? Read about the road to success from these public figures and more who excel in a variety of careers. Each person also offers advice in addition to their candid recollections about success. An excellent book, especially for anyone looking for a mentor or just some career inspiration. ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Getting There: A Book of Mentors" at Goodreads.com. »

"Hausfrau" by Jill Alexander Essbaum

'Hausfrau' by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Adult Book ★★★★★ This haunting debut explores the world of an emotionally fragile housewife. Anna is an American living with her Swiss husband, Bruno, and three children in Zurich, Switzerland. Bruno works as a banker and Anna is responsible for the home and children. While she has lived in the country for 9 years, Anna has never learned the language. She has no real friends. What she does have, is a high amount of impulsivity, anxiety, and irrational mood ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Hausfrau" at Goodreads.com. »

"Orion and the Dark" by Emma Yarlett

'Orion and the Dark' by Emma Yarlett

Children's Book ★★★★★ This adorable picture book is about a little boy named Orion who is afraid of everything, especially the dark! He tries and tries to find ways to not be afraid but nothing works. One night, he decides to tell the dark to go away. When the dark slips through his window and invites him to have an adventure, Orion learns that he doesn't need to be afraid with his new friend at his side. Super cute illustrations and fun text make this book a g ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Orion and the Dark" at Goodreads.com. »

"Illusions of Fate" by Kiersten White

'Illusions of Fate' by Kiersten White

Teen Book ★★★★★ This title was recommended to me as "Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series" and it certainly lives up to the comparison. Jessamin travels to the aristocratic country of Albion in pursuit of an education. As an islander from the nearby country of Melei, she is considered a lower caste than the fair-skinned residents of Albion, and works as a servant in an area hotel for room and board. When Jessamin attracts the at ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Illusions of Fate" at Goodreads.com. »

"Worn Stories" by Emily Spivack

'Worn Stories' by Emily Spivack

Adult Book ★★★★★ Everyone has a piece of clothing hanging in a closet or folded away in a drawer that has so much sentimental value, it is impossible to discard, despite the stains or holes. This clever idea of documenting the stories of such clothing began as a side project in 2010. For the book, the author pairs each short essay with a stark photograph of each item of clothing. Some of the essays are from famous fashion designers and chefs, others from n ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Worn Stories" at Goodreads.com. »

"Lonely Planet London" by Emilie Filou

'Lonely Planet London' by Emilie Filou

Adult Book ★★★★ This is a great, quick resource to go through for anyone interested in a short trip to London. As someone who's lived in this amazing city, I thought Lonely Planet did a great job picking some of the top attractions for a city where there's something to see around every corner (in my very biased opinion!). This resource allows you to mix and match experiences, with essential travel and restaurant information for each attraction, so you can ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Lonely Planet London" at Goodreads.com. »

"Cat & Bunny" by Mary Lundquist

'Cat & Bunny' by Mary Lundquist

Children's Book ★★★★★ This adorable book tells the story of Cat and Bunny, two of the very best of friends. Cat and Bunny are inseparable. That is until the day that they are playing in the park and the other kids ask to join their game. Bunny says yes but Cat doesn't want to share her friend. Cat storms off and ends up alone until she meets a kitten and starts a new game. Pretty soon, everyone asks to join her game and she realizes that playing is more fun whe ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Cat & Bunny" at Goodreads.com. »

"I Love Dogs!" by Sue Stainton

'I Love Dogs!' by Sue Stainton

Children's Book ★★★★★ This rollicking book is filled with the exuberant joy of a boy who loves dogs. While spending the day at the park, the boy meets every type of dog imaginable. There are dogs that are spotty, dotty, wrinkly, crinkly... and many, many more! Will this little boy ever find the perfect dog for him? I highly recommend this book for all dog-loving kids! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "I Love Dogs!" at Goodreads.com. »

"Pete the Cat and the New Guy" by Kimberly Dean

'Pete the Cat and the New Guy' by Kimberly  Dean

Children's Book ★★★★★ Pete the Cat is easily one of my favorite children's book characters. In this story, Pete meets Gus the Platypus and tries to help him fit into his new neighborhood. When Gus has a hard time trying out everyone's favorite activities, Pete tries to cheer him up. What they learn is that Gus has a special talent that is unique to him that he can share with his new friends. By sharing what makes them each special, they all benefit in the end. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Pete the Cat and the New Guy" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Martian" by Andy Weir

'The Martian' by Andy Weir

Adult Book ★★★★★ I just had to write a quick review of “The Martian” by Andy Weir after recently seeing that they have made it into a movie to be released soon! The book has everything that a science fiction reader could ask for. It’s a story of a man getting stranded on Mars, which we all know is not a very human friendly place to be. He must survive for a long period of time until the next ship can come back to get him. But wait, they think he is ...

Reviewed by David G. Read more reviews of "The Martian" at Goodreads.com. »

"Gabi, a Girl in Pieces" by Isabel Quintero

'Gabi, a Girl in Pieces' by Isabel Quintero

Teen Book ★★★★★ Entering her senior year of high school, Gabi, a Mexican-American girl, tries to make sense of her teenaged world. Gabi's life is not short of drama: her best friend Cindy is pregnant, her other best friend Sebastian just got kicked out of his parents house after coming out, her dad is addicted to meth, and Gabi feels shamed for being a girl by her over-bearing Mexican mother. The book is told through Gabi's journal entries and is hilariou ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Gabi, a Girl in Pieces" at Goodreads.com. »

"A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)" by Sarah J. Maas

'A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)' by Sarah J. Maas

Teen Book ★★★ A new fantasy series from Sarah J. Maas is sure to delight her fans, but this New Adult novel isn't perfect. If you are not familiar with the New Adult genre, expect the same emotional highs and lows from YA, but with more sex and violence, although not on the level with "A Game of Thrones." The protagonist Feyre is a young woman who is forced to leave her family and live with the mysterious and handsome Tamlin, a faerie lord, as punishmen ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Spots in a Box" by Helen Ward

'Spots in a Box' by Helen Ward

Children's Book ★★★★★ This fun book is about a guinea fowl who doesn't have any spots. When he orders them in the mail, they arrive as something quite unexpected. As he explores the unexpected assortment of spots, he comes to realize that not all spots are created equal just like no two individuals are exactly alike. What he discovers is that it is more important to be happy being yourself when making friends than to be someone you're not. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Spots in a Box" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Truth About Twinkie Pie" by Kat Yeh

'The Truth About Twinkie Pie' by Kat Yeh

Children's Book ★★★★★ 12-year–old Gigi lives with her sister Didi who is a hairstylist in a trailer park. When Didi wins one million dollars in a cooking contest she is able to help realize the big dreams she has for Gigi by moving to Long Island and enrolling her in an upscale high school. Gigi, who hates her name and asks the new kids at school to call her Leia, becomes friends with Trip, a cool, handsome guy who accepts her as she is. This is a warm, sweet ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The Truth About Twinkie Pie" at Goodreads.com. »

"Goodnight Football" by Michael Dahl

'Goodnight Football' by Michael Dahl

Children's Book ★★★★★ This bedtime story will bring back sweet memories of football season. Told in rhyme, it follows a little boy as he attends a Friday night game with his family. From concessions, to the players, to the roar of the crowd, you'll remember why we love this game so much, and the satisfaction we feel as our team wins and we head home to snuggle into bed. This is a great book for the young football fans in your life. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Goodnight Football" at Goodreads.com. »

"Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)" by Josh Schneider

'Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)' by Josh Schneider

Children's Book ★★★★★ This is a really cute story, written in rhyme. All over the world, animals are trying to sleep. Fred however is not. This adventurous boy has a huge to do list and simply does not have time to waste sleeping. Kids will enjoy Fred's antics as he fights to get his tasks done before bedtime. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The League of Beastly Dreadfuls (The League of Beastly Dreadfuls, #1)" by Holly Grant

'The League of Beastly Dreadfuls (The League of Beastly Dreadfuls, #1)' by Holly Grant

Tween Book ★★★★ Eleven-year-old Anastasia McCrumpet is snatched from her school library by two tiny “ancient” ladies claiming to be her great aunties; only she doesn’t have any great aunts. She is told that her parents have suffered an unfortunate vacuum cleaner accident. They take her, not to a hospital, but to a dreary Victorian home in the middle of nowhere that used to be St Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane. She is given mystery, lumpy ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The League of Beastly Dreadfuls (The League of Beastly Dreadfuls, #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Silver Witch" by Paula Brackston

'The Silver Witch' by Paula Brackston

Adult Book ★★★★ I couldn't help but immediately get sucked into the setting and characters in this novel. Set in Wales, a country I've always loved since visiting it in person, this beautiful landscape has many secrets. Tilda, a woman who just tragically lost her husband after they bought a lakeside cottage, feels an immediate affinity for the mysterious place. She vows to discover her own history and link to the alluring land, while the locals uncover a ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Silver Witch" at Goodreads.com. »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.