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Staff Reviews

Cover: 'Insurgent'

"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The second book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series continues to follow 16-year-old Tris Prior as she struggles to make sense of her world as it crumbles around her. Tris has finally embraced her divergence but must now figure out what to do about the danger it places on those closest to her. She must make peace with herself as she battles guilt, grief, and...

Cover: 'The Registry'

"The Registry" by Shannon Stoker

★★★★★ Looking for a new dystopian trilogy? Look no further! This is a book that will be hard to put down and will leave you wishing you had the next book. In this new America, girls are raised to be brides and sold to the highest bidder, and boys are raised to be soldiers ready to fight. Follow eighteen year old Mia as she goes on a journey to be a free woman and...

Cover: 'The Painter'

"The Painter" by Peter Heller

★★★★★ Peter Heller brings us a beautifully written novel about a famous New Mexico artist names Jim Stegner whose life seems to spiral around in destructive chaos. Jim has a history of violence and loss, but is trying to move forward as he finds a new home that offers him peace and quiet, a place to paint, and great fishing. However, Jim's peaceful existence is...

Cover: 'Nantucket Red'

"Nantucket Red" by Leila Howland

★★★★ A sequel to Nantucket Blue, Nantucket Red finds protagonist Cricket Thompson newly graduated from high school. Cricket is accepted to Brown University with a coveted spot on the lacrosse team, and heads back to Nantucket in order to earn money for the Ivy League life. Soon after arriving, one night on the island causes Cricket's future to be thrown up in...

Cover: 'Life's That Way'

"Life's That Way" by Jim Beaver

★★★★★ Life's That Way is a beautiful and moving memoir by Jim Beaver, the talented actor who I came to know from the TV series Supernatural. His memoir is a heartbreaking, touching, but also uplifting recounting of his wife's battle with cancer and daughter's battle with autism. Told through the heart-wrenching emails Jim Beaver sent to their family and friends,...

Cover: 'The World According to Bob'

"The World According to Bob" by James Bowen

★★★★★ A continuation of his first book, "A Street Cat Named Bob," Bowen details more adventures with his beloved and extraordinary cat, Bob, and provides further insights into his own life. It is heart-warming once again to witness the transformative power of the human/animal bond and the lessons that can be learned if one's heart is open to them. I freely admit...

Cover: 'Say What You Will'

"Say What You Will" by Cammie McGovern

★★★★ Meet Amy and Mathew, two teens with different types of disabilities who somehow find one another and become best friends. When Amy leaves for college, they both need to realize their limitations or abilities, and learn to adapt to life without one another. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of recently popular teen fiction. This book...

Cover: 'The Perfume Collector'

"The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro

★★★★ This is a lovely, yet predictable novel about a woman who inherits an apartment in Paris from someone she has never met. Grace is living unhappily in England when she discovers the mysterious Eva d'Orsey left her a beautiful apartment and a generous stock portfolio. A richly-detailed work of historical fiction, Tessaro weaves together the duo plotlines of...

Cover: 'This Song Will Save Your Life'

"This Song Will Save Your Life" by Leila Sales

★★★★ Elise has always struggled to make friends, so much so that she had even once turned to suicide as an answer to her loneliness. After her failed attempt at suicide, she continued to be a loser at school.  Just as Elise is resigned that her life will never get better and be what she knows it could, she haphazardly discovers an underground dance club....

Cover: 'The One'

"The One" by Kiera Cass

★★ "The One" is the third and final book of The Selection Trilogy.  The central character, America, and three other young ladies are still vying for Prince Maxon's heart. The country of Illea is experiencing more and more unrest among rebels groups looking for equality and the dissolution of the chaste system. These rebels are threatening the selection...

Cover: 'In New York'

"In New York" by Marc Brown

★★★★★ Learn about New York City, the beloved home to the author and illustrator of this book! This is a great book for elementary school aged children, who will learn facts about New York's history to the present day. Of course all of the landmarks are beautifully depicted through the artwork and illustrations of this book. You definitely get the feeling that the...

Cover: 'The Monkey Wrench Gang'

"The Monkey Wrench Gang" by Edward Abbey

★★★★★ While not a new release, this 1975 classic is well worth a revisit. Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke returns from war to find that his beloved southwestern desert is being threatened by rampant industrial development. Joined by an unlikely group of allies, Hayduke sets out to save the natural landscape that he loves as he rages against men and their machine-...

Cover: 'Divergent'

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The first book in Veronica Roth's wildly popular series does not disappoint! We meet 16-year-old Beatrice Prior on the eve of the most important decision of her life. She must chose one of five factions to belong to for the rest of her years. Will she choose to stay with her family or find a new one? Her decision is complicated by her test results and her...

Cover: 'The Untold'

"The Untold" by Courtney Collins

★★★★★ This brilliantly told story of Jessie Hickman, a female horse thief, set in 1920s Australia is a darkly captivating must read. Based on the real life Jessie Hickman, the story unfolds as the tough and free-spirited Jessie tries desperately to procure her freedom from her abusive husband and captor Fitz. This novel will rope you in and hold your attention to...

Cover: 'The Romanov Sisters'

"The Romanov Sisters" by Helen Rappaport

★★★★★ This book navigates the daily lives of the four Russian Grand Duchesses: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia until their death in 1918.  Rappaport discusses how unusual Alexandra’s upbringing of her children compared to other Russian royalty and also, how her ill health often affected her children’s lives. Rappaport also delves into the girls varying...

Cover: 'Shotgun Lovesongs'

"Shotgun Lovesongs" by Nickolas Butler

★★★★★ This debut novel from Wisconsin-based author Nickolas Butler is worthy of the abundant praise received from critics and readers. Set in the fictional rural town of Little Wing, Wisconsin, five friends undergo major life changes, from marriage to recording a bestselling album. Chapters are written from the perspective of each of the five as their friendship...

Cover: 'The Stranger You Know'

"The Stranger You Know" by Jane Casey

★★★★★ The most recent book in the Maeve Kerrigan detective series finds Maeve tracking a serial killer hunting young women throughout London. He leaves no clues behind, but the facts of the case have an eerie similarity to an incident her partner DCI Derwent was involved in during his teens. Maeve can't believe Derwent would be involved, but the more she begins...

Cover: 'We Were Liars'

"We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart

★★★★★ WE WERE LIARS is the perfect summer read for teens and adults! Cadence Sinclair lives a life unfamiliar to most of us, full of money, privilege, and summers spent on a private island with her family. Something terrible happens the summer that she is fifteen between Cadence, her two cousins, and family friend Gat, whom are collectively know as "The Liars,"...

Cover: 'Winter Town'

"Winter Town" by Stephen Edmond

★★★★ Every winter break, Evan's best friend Lucy returns to visit her father.  This year is no exception...however, Lucy has changed.  Evan struggles to reunite and reconnect with his closest friend, while Lucy struggles to reconcile her behavior while living with her mom in Georgia with who she is around Evan and his family.  Nothing earth...

Cover: 'Dangerous Creatures'

"Dangerous Creatures" by Kami Garcia

★★ This book is a disappointing attempt at a spin-off series from the writers of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, the popular teen series about the supernatural world of Casters (witches) in South Carolina. Link and Ridley, now an on-again, off-again couple with magical abilities, escape their fictitious southern town of Gatlin, South Carolina, and head to New York City....

Cover: 'Lunch In Paris'

"Lunch In Paris" by Elizabeth Bard

★★★★ If you are a travel and food enthusiast, then this is a great book for you! Lunch In Paris is a memoir telling the story of how the author, Elizabeth, met her Parisian husband and ended up living in Paris. Not only does Elizabeth give up a life in the United States for love but she needs to learn a new way of life while discovering a new direction for her...

Cover: 'A Walk in Paris'

"A Walk in Paris" by Salvatore Rubbino

★★★★ Accompany a girl and her grandfather on their walk through Paris! All of the splendor of the most well known landmarks of the city are visited and portrayed in a sight-seeing tour. The beautiful illustrations and simple story make for a wonderful journey for any young reader. In addition to the story, there are fun facts about Paris on every page for the...

Cover: 'The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing'

"The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing" by Sheila Turnage

★★★★ The Desperado Detectives are back! This time, Mo and Dale set out to uncover a ghostly mystery: the murder of Nellie Blake and her haunting of the Tupelo Inn. When Miss Lana accidently purchases the inn at an auction, Mo wants her to turn it into a successful business. But who would want to visit the haunted inn with Nellie creating havoc? This is a great...

Cover: 'City of Heavenly Fire'

"City of Heavenly Fire" by Cassandra Clare

★★★★ A satisfying end to an interesting young adult series, Cassandra Clare does not disappoint fans of The Mortal Instruments with this final installment. The book is over 700 pages, but it’s full of Shadowhunters, lycanthropes, faeries, warlocks, and vampires battling Clary’s evil brother Sebastian and his legion of dark Shadowhunters in Hell. Much of the plot...

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