Friday, August 30, 2019


A cute, albeit mildly underwhelming, story about high school crushes taking their chances before it's to late. Josiah and Deja have worked at the "world's best" pumpkin patch for the past three falls. They're super tight seasonal friends but that's all about to end. They're both seniors and they know that this is their last night working at their favorite place. Deja is nostalgic about the food that she'll miss and she's also convinced that Josiah has to talk to his crush, fudge girl or he'll regret it for the rest of his life. Deja convinces Josiah that they need to make their last night count and they are going to run all over this pumpkin patch seeking out the best food, sights, sounds, and of course, the infamous fudge girl. This book is very atmospheric and it makes you want fall, pumpkins, scarecrows, kettle corn, and  corn mazes RIGHT NOW. Also, maybe a pumpkin spice coffee or two as well. Cute, and amazingly well drawn, this little romantic graphic novel is sure to be a hit with teens.

I'll Never Tell

I  adored the layout of this book. Full of twists and turns, with measured and calculated flashbacks that slowly, painstakingly reconstruct that fateful night twenty years ago. What happened to Amanda?

After their parents sudden death the McAllister kids meet back at Camp Macaw to find out whats in the will. Between the five kids, they have no idea whats in store for them. They assume they will have to take a vote on what happens to the summer camp, a veritable gold mine of property, but none of them are prepared for what's really contained in their father's last will and testament. They have to find out what happened to Amanda, no more secrets, no more lies. They have to own up to what there were all up to that last fateful night. As the only brother, everyone always wondered if Ryan had something to do with it and most still wonder now. Over a period of two days, the secrets start to become unburied and they all realize that they had more to do with what happened to Amanda and its cover up then any of them could have ever imagined. Dark, twisted, and compelling, this page turner is a must for fans of dark thrillers!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sleepless Volume 2

Not as groundbreaking as its predecessor, Sleepless volume 2 picks up a nearly a year after the first installment. Cyrenic is still in his deep sleep and Lady Poppy can no longer postpone her wedding to the man who tried to have her killed in the first book. They're each "fighting through the darkness" but it's much harder than when they are fighting together. They have to have their wits about them to survive and in the process hope that they will be reunited. Not as exciting and romantic as the first book, but still a pretty ok follow up. I will say that volume two seems to have a pretty definite conclusion so I can't imagine there will be anymore in this series, but I could be wrong!

The Reckless Oath We Made

I loved this as much as Bryn Greenwood's first novel and that is saying a lot. The premise of the book sounded odd to me but once I started reading it was perfect! I was immediately won over by Zee, a young woman in more debt and trouble than most her age and Gentry, a gentle soul who acts, speaks, and lives as a knight. The voices in Gentry's head have told him that he must be Zee's champion and watch over her, and he is determined to be the most chivalrous and protective man to her. Zee is used to having Gentry "stalk" her; she knows he's harmless, but she generally just avoids him. When her sister is kidnapped by escaped convicts, Zee finds herself: homeless, jobless, carless, and in charge of her 5 year old nephew. To say she is overwhelmed is an understatement. Gentry proves invaluable as he rescues Zee time and again and she finds herself softening to this stocky, Shakespearean talking, sword wielding man. Utterly unique, charming, and heartfelt. 100% would recommend!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Little Bee

Impossible to put down, this story of love, betrayal, hope, and family will leave readers wiping their eyes and wishing for more. Two women on opposite sides of the world find their lives entangled by one horrific moment in time that neither of them will ever be able to forget. Little Bee, a Nigerian asylum seeker and Sarah an editor in London will find their paths crossing nearly two years after their first horrible encounter and both will be powerless to stop the chain of events that will unfold. Uplifting, captivating, and unique; the characters leap right off the pages and into your heart and you're powerless to turn away. A real triumph in storytelling.


A wonderful prequel to the award winning young adult novel, The Crossover. Written entirely in verse, Rebound follows Chuck Bell, the summer after his father's unexpected death when he is sent to stay with his grandparents. Angry and disinterested in everything except comics he is resigned to hate the whole summer but he soon discovers that he loves hanging with his father's family and to his surprise he's actually really good at basketball, a sport he always kind of avoided. The summer is filled with the Harlem Globetrotters, The Boys and Girls Club, comics, lawn mowing, and family. Chuck Bell has no idea how impactful this summer will be on the rest of his life. A slam dunk.

The Haunting of Hill House

An extremely chilling, unique, and unsettling horror novel; that remains relevant even to this day. I've read other books by Shirley Jackson, but this might be my favorite. It's simple yet so very deep and nuanced and everything ties in together; weaving a tapestry of evil and doubt. Three strangers are united by a scholar of the occult promising a summer of free lodging, modest pay, and amiable company. The four find themselves taking up residence in Hill House, a massive manor that has spent decades empty and has dozens of rumors surrounding it. Everyone is unsettled by the house which gives off an air of darkness and chill, but they band together to see if anything is truly off about the house. Dr. Montague is the primary note taker and scholar, Theodora is a beautiful and engaging participant, Luke is the future inheritor of the estate, and Eleanor is poor, friendless and determined to make the best of the situation. Small horrors begin to creep in and by the time they think to do something it's too late. A great horror novel!

Friday, August 23, 2019

David: Savakerrva

What happens when a fourteen year old orphan from Detroit finds out he's the son of an alien king?! Adventure of the highest order; a space odyssey for all ages! "David: Savakerrva" takes readers on a journey through space; exploring rich new frontiers and fantastic species and cultures.

Disbelief, anger, annoyance, and righteous indignation flow through David when he learns the life changing truth about his past and his future. How can he help save a planet when he's used to being bullied, he can barely stand up for himself let alone a bunch of aliens! Against his wishes he's taken from Earth and given only the barest of explanations on what he's expected to do. David knows that the prophecy has foretold his coming and that without his help, his father's home planet will be destroyed. No small feat, considering he was just chilling out in his room reading comic books days before, it's not like he's been training his whole life for this. David must look inward to see if he's even an inkling of the man that these strange aliens think he is. The classic battle of good versus evil will play out on the pages and readers will enjoy every minute of the ride.  Brimming with exhilarating sights and sounds, witty banter, impossible tests, malicious bad guys, and an occasionally whiny teenager; this science fiction novel is an excellent start to what I hope is a nice long series.

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Wow, what a blistering take on the age old tale of rescuing a damsel. This dark, thematic young adult book is really NC 17 - there is a lot of sexual abuse, self-harm, and harassment in this book - spoiler alert. The book opens with Prince Emory traveling to a far off land to slay a dragon and rescue a damsel. He must successfully bring a damsel back to his kingdom to be wed or he will never be king. For as far back as anyone can remember, the cycle has always remained the same; slay a dragon, rescue a damsel, wed her, impregnate her with one son, who will then turn around and repeat the process when it is his turn to be king. For Ama, this is all new. She has no memories before being rescued by Prince Emory; she has to take his word for everything and trust that he knows best. As she tries to adjust to her new place in the castle with her pet lynx; Ama realizes that she is unhappy, why shouldn't she get a say in her? She is constantly talked down to, bossed around, taken advantage of, and demeaned; Prince Emory doesn't seem so heroic anymore. Ama wishes she could just remember what life was like before he "rescued" her. Dark, twisted, and wonderful; the ending alone is worth reading this book for!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The World on Either Side

What a STUNNING young adult novel about grief, compassion, and letting go. When sixteen year old, Valentine Joy's boyfriend tragically dies, her life falls apart. For months she can't bear to leave her bed or face the world, and even suffers an "accidental" overdose. Her mother has had enough, and in order to save her daughter, Valentine's mother decides to jolt her away from her thoughts and environment by going overseas to trek across Thailand and take in the sights. Anything to get her mind off her dead boyfriend. Despite herself Valentine starts to enjoy herself, just a little; being far away from home is helping her process her thoughts and feelings. She's intrigued by a young elephant keeper in their group, trying to tease out the secrets of his past; when suddenly tragedy strikes. The group discover a heard of murdered elephants, the only survivor being a baby they name Mohawk. Valentine and her mysterious friend decide to try and save the baby from poachers and soon find themselves fleeing through the forest trying to stay one step ahead of the angry men with guns. Filled with sorrow, heartache, and love - this book is about what it takes to give forgiveness and seek compassion. Readers will also learn about the struggles of Burmese refugees and the struggle on the Myanmar/Thailand border, something that many people around the world remain unaware of. Educational, thought provoking, and brilliant - this young adult book will find many adult fans as well. A voice to watch!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Hidden Scales

Tightly woven and thoroughly engaging; this middle grade fantasy novel will win over boys and girls of all ages. Thought to extinct for decades, merrows have only lived in the imagination. Merrows were water breathing humans able to live on land and under water and were thought to be quite magical and strong although no one is sure why or when they disappeared. When eleven year old Mira is abducted from her cozy little coastal town along with her best friend Peter, they have no idea what kind of adventure they are about to embark on. Everything they knew about their kingdom and their lives is about to be flipped upside down as they try to keep one step ahead of the shadowveils who are hunting them and their new companions. Mira and Peter as well as a flying horse, a mischievous young boy, a sly gnome, and a saucy woman must race against the clock to discover the secrets of the merrows, rescue their kidnapped friends, and evade the shadowveils. Accompanying each chapter is a gorgeous illustration to really help paint the scene. Wonderfully paced and imagined; this fantasy novel is unique and readers will be eagerly waiting for the rest of this series.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Well Met

A cute romcom about a college drop out turned cool aunt/chauffeur and an insufferable English teacher that takes everything too seriously slowly falling for each other over the summer. Emily didn't know that she would have to volunteer alongside her teenage niece at the Renaissance Faire, but she's going to take it in stride. The event itself is four weekends and the prep is nearly 2 months! All to play a tavern wench and put up with the insufferable Simon, a stickler for rules and period appropriate language and attire. Despite herself, Emily discovers that she's really enjoying the quality time with her niece and ogling the men in kilts and leather pants. Maybe she's even starting to develop something for the insufferable Simon too. It's cheesy and cute - the perfect summer read for theater nerds and Shakespeare fans.

The Silent Patient

This is really a 3.5 star book - I did not see the ending coming.. I would have rated it higher, but I really had a hard time empathizing or liking any of the characters. Other than that, this was a solid thriller that had a slow build up and a satisfying end. Alicia Berenson, a talented and beautiful young artist was found holding the gun that killed her husband. All signs pointed to her pulling the trigger but she never uttered a word in her defense or to implicate herself. In fact she never uttered another word again. She's been locked away in an asylum for years finally receding from the public eye. All that changes when a hot shot psychotherapist decides that he has what it takes to get Alicia to talk about the night of her husband's death. He is so enamored and intrigued by Alicia's story that he get's a job at her asylum just so he can be closer to her and get to work with her. Creepy and suspenseful; this thriller goes anywhere accept where you think it should go.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Hollow Kingdom

OMG! This book was out of this world. The description sounds weird and dumb, but honestly once you start reading you're hooked and you'll be singing the author's praises for writing such a unique and bad-ass story line. Hollow Kingdom is the saga of a pet crow named Shit Turd (or S.T. for short) who is trying to make sense of the world with his faithful companion, Dennis (the most lovable, dumb, dog) after their owner Big Jim and the rest of humanity is struck down with zombie-esque virus. Suddenly animals and all of nature are free to reclaim what the humans had taken from them. S.T. struggles with this as he truly loved MoFos (humans); he loved their hot dog eating contests, their Cheetos, their reality television, and their shiny toys. He's never embraced his animal side preferring to mimic the MoFos, but now he'll have to in order to keep he and Dennis safe from all the escaped zoo animals and predators on the wild. Hilarious, one of a kind, and moving. This is a must read. Descriptions don't do it justice, just read this and fall in love!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The True Bastards

This follow up is just as good as the first (The Grey Bastards), maybe even better. I freaking ate this book up! The plot is just as tightly woven and the stakes are even higher in this installment. Plus the story is told through Fetch's eyes instead of Jackals and that adds a whole new dimension to this story (Fetch is my homegirl). Gritty, action packed, and filled to the brim with insane world building, this series is only getting better. I legit cannot wait for the next one (for real - there better be a ton more in this series!). The True Bastards takes places months after the last book and opens with the bastards trying to survive away from their stronghold with Fetch as hoof master. Since the Kiln burnt down, they are having to make do in the frail town, Winsome, and they are trying to reinforce it as quickly as possible to keep themselves safe. The only problem is; food is near impossible to come by, morale is low, and there is a terrifying pack of laughing dogs that wants nothing more to scale their walls and eat everyone. PLUS Fetch is still trying to rid herself of a sickness while still remaining strong for the hoof. The story quickly takes off and is one action packed adventure filled with fighting, fucking, and more fantastical enemies and allies. Soo freaking good!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Help Me

Power, Marianne. Help Me. 9 CDs. unabridged. 11hrs 24 mins. Brilliance Audio. ISBN 9781721335176. $35.99. 

Marianne Power's candid, hilarious, and thoughtful memoir will resonant with any woman who has ever looked in the mirror and thought to herself, "I'm not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, or accomplished enough." A New Year's resolution turns into a soul searching nightmare as famed international journalist, Marianne Power, vows to read and adhere to a new self-help book every month. From rejection therapy to finances to fighting fear to talking to men, Marianne pushes herself to the limits and discovers that self-help is no joke. Over the course of the year she finds herself jumping from planes, chatting up strangers on the tube, asking a room full of businessmen for a date, doing naked yoga, and walking over hot coals. But has any of it made her a better woman? It's a year of change and discovery but as Marrianne discovers, sometimes too much looking inward can make us more self-centered and desensitized to what truly matters. Narrated brilliantly by the author and her mother, the wit and candor shines through even the darkest moments. Readers will be charmed by this thought-provoking quest on what it takes to be the best version of ourselves. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited

A fun follow up! Funny, over the top, quirky, and clever; this nerdy graphic novel series is my new favorite thing. A trio of ridiculous adventurers have found themselves on a new quest. They must find a dangerous item before it falls into the hands of a nameless enemy. Things get complicated when they end up stuck on the train that the relic is on and someone gets murdered. Who did it? Why are they relying on a 10 year old for help. Why  is there a giant crab attacking them? Wonderfully illustrated and filled with fantastic banter, I can hardly wait for the third installment!

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Saturday Night Ghost Club

A humorous nostalgic read with an ending you won't suspect, but will make the book all the more heartfelt for it. The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a mix between the Stranger Things and the Goonies, but a little more melancholy, and highlights two lonely pre-teens on the verge of a great friendship. Set during the 80's in the unique town of Niagara Falls, Jake learns what it's like to get over your fears, make friends, and tune in with your slightly spooky surroundings. His Uncle C owns and operates the Occultorium and urges Jake and a newcomer to town to attend his Saturday evening ghost club. Jake must overcome his fear of spooky things and friendship, but quickly discovers that it is well worth the risk. Quirky, beautifully written, and touching; this is an excellent book of friendship and of things that go bump in the night.