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Staff Reviews: fiction

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library! (For reviews in all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


Cover: 'Just what kind of mother are you?'

"Just what kind of mother are you?" by

★★★★ In Paula Daly's debut novel, we are introduced to Kate, an overwhelmed and overworked mother of three, who in the chaos of daily life not only forgets that her daughter's best friend was supposed to sleepover, but wakes up the next day to find that she is missing. After a young girl had recently been kidnapped and seen walking back into town with telltale...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'Fangirl'

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

★★★★★ Cath and Wren are identical twins entering their freshman year of college. Wren jumps into the party scene while Cath dives into her favorite hobby: writing fanfiction about the literary phenomenon Simon Snow. Wren and Cath used to write it together, but Wren is slowly drifting apart from her twin, wanting to make her own identity apart from Cath. Feeling...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, realistic

Cover: 'Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy'

"Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy" by Elizabeth Kiem

★★★★ Marina's mother, Sveta, is the Soviet Union's star ballerina in 1986. When Sveta has visions of a horrific USSR secret, she mysteriously goes missing. Marina and her father flee to Brooklyn to escape the KGB, the Soviet Union's secret police. Marina and her father must adapt to life in Brooklyn without Sveta, but Marina's father can't let her disappearance...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Handbook for Dragon Slayers'

"Handbook for Dragon Slayers" by Merrie Haskell

★★★★ 13-year-old Tilda is not your average fairytale princess. Born with a twisted foot, she knows that people in her kingdom don't respect her and she's bored with being a princess. Her boredom, however, comes to an abrupt halt when her evil cousin steals the throne. She is suddenly thrust into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure -- complete with magical horses --...

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction, fantasy, dragons

Cover: 'The Illusion of Separateness'

"The Illusion of Separateness" by Simon Van Booy

★★★★ "The Illusion of Separateness" by Simon Van Booy is a novel that weaves together six characters from all over the world, spans from the years 1930-2010, and shows that no matter how separate these characters appear to be from one another they have more in common than it seems. The novel tells the stories of Martin -- a retirement home employee who never...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Curiosity Thrilled the Cat'

"Curiosity Thrilled the Cat" by Sofie Kelly

★★★★ Being a library assistant, I initially picked up "Curiosity Thrilled the Cat" because the main character, Kathleen, is a librarian that moves to a small Minnesotan town after her life in Boston throws her a curveball. Add in two adorable cats that remind me of my own, and I was hooked. This cozy mystery is packed with characters you instantly love,...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

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