Current Picks: Book Reviews

Goodnight Beautiful

If you're looking for a slow-burn thriller with a stunning plot twist, then Aimee Molloy's Goodnight Beautiful is for you. The story centers on Sam and Annie, newlyweds who have just moved to the sleepy suburbs of upstate New York where Sam grew up. He works as a therapist in his office downstairs and has no idea his client sessions can be heard through a vent in the ceiling. One day, a young French woman appears as a new patient and is eager to get to know Sam, which throws his relationship with Annie for a loop. Shortly after, Sam vanishes on the night of a violent rainstorm. Rumors immediately start swirling on what happened. Did he run away? Get harmed by someone he knows? Full of suspense, dark humor, and a fantastic set of characters, this is a thriller you don't want to miss.

Check out the eBook and eAudiobook on eMediaLibrary.




everyone's an aliebn when you're an aliebn too

Yes, the title of this novel is correct. This is how most of the writing is in this book, but it is for a specific reason. The aliebn Jonny has come to Earth to learn what it is like to be a human being. This journey as to what it means to be a human being and how to make friends. The author Jomny Sun does an amazing job with showing some deep feeling and resonating with the people who are reading it who might not fit in where they are in life. A quote from this book that I believe sums up the tone is, "look. life is bad. everyone is sad. we're all gona die. but i alredy bought this inflatable bouncy castle so are u gona take ur shoes off or wat". I loved this book.

Everyone's an aliebn when you're an aliebn too is available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla.

Child of Storm

The terrific second book in the Zulu series tells of Mameena, a Zulu girl of hypnotic beauty. Her name means Child of Storm in English. Mameena uses her unparalleled beauty and charm on men to climb up the Zulu social ladder, leaving misery and death in her wake. She even tests her wiles on young but stalwart Allan Quatermain.

Child of Storm (1913) is a nonstop thrilling tale of revenge, jealousy, witchcraft, and war. Very interesting and exciting stuff written with H. Rider Haggard's poetic description of 19th century Africa. Some characters in the book are real historical persons and some of the events actually happened, including the descriptions of the tribal battles.

While this audiobook is very hard to put down on its own, listeners would benefit from first reading Marie, the first book in the trilogy. Check out my review of Marie


Visit Hoopla to listen to the audiobook or read the ebook.



The Flip Side

This delightful rom-com introduces us to Josh, a young British man who is experiencing the worst luck of his life. After losing his job and breaking up with his long-time girlfriend, Josh is forced to move back in with his parents. Not the ideal situation, Josh starts questioning his life choices and what led him to rock bottom. He finally decides that instead of planning every aspect of his life, he should leave it up to fate and flip a coin. At first a joke, Josh soon uses the coin to dictate every decision he's faced with, especially when it comes to his dating life. Hilarious and charming with a meaningful message, The Flip Side is one story that will have you smiling until the end.



The Book of Unknown Americans

The Book of Unknown Americans follows the Rivera family as they move from Mexico to the United States in order to get the best care for their daughter. The novel includes a cast of characters from throughout Latin America each with a unique and telling story to share. Grappling with issues like anti-immigrant sentiment, poverty, and the difficulties of assimilating into a new culture, this well written book puts a human face onto every person who ever tried to come to this country in search of a better life.

The library will have a book discussion on this title on February 17, 2022.



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The Family Upstairs

After Libby's 25th birthday, she receives a letter from a lawyer telling her that she is the sole inheritor of an abandoned mansion in London's upper class neighborhood that is supposed to be worth millions. Libby knows nothing about her past, only that she was adopted when she was a baby. She is excited to learn more about her birth parents and where she was from. By claiming her inheritance, she opens herself up to individuals that want to connect with her and are wanting to find her. Years ago, the mansion was the site of a strange group suicide of her birth parents and that left Libby (a 10 month old baby) behind. She must confront her past as she searches for the truth. Really good read. I couldn't put the book down till I finished it. 

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell is available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary.



Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America

Laila Lalami, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, interweaves her personal experiences as a Muslim immigrant from Morocco with the realities that all migrants to this country must face. She argues that people who do not look the right way or do not practice the right religion have their citizenship called into doubt.

The library will have a book discussion on this nonfiction title on February 3, 2022.

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America is also available as an ebook on eMediaLibrary.

The Extraordinaries

The Extraordinaries by T.J Klune focuses on Nick, an average everyday teenager who is openly queer and happens to have ADHD. In a world where there are normal people and Extraordinaries (people with superpowers) Nick struggles with feeling of inadequacy, a feeling that he tries to solve by becoming an Extraordinary himself. The story was full of relatable situations as Nick navigates through all his emotions and deals with the people in his life. Nick himself is just a really relatable character and I can see a lot of myself in him, which made the story all the more fun. This story has all the cringe involved with being a teenager, a lot of humor, a couple sad bits, and a good sprinkling of a cute romance. My absolute favorite thing about the book was the plot twist! It took the story in completely different direction in the best way possible. There's also a sequel!!! 

Available as an eAudiobook through Hoopla.




City Monster

City Monster is my favorite graphic novel from this author. The story seemed to fly by and was nothing what I expected it to be. The artists did a great job with the subtle facial expressions and with the dialog with the images on the pages. There wasn't too much wording, but there also was just enough where it made the story progress. This was kind of like a Pixar short and was written perfectly. I would definitely read this book again and suggest for people to read it as well.

The Land that Time Forgot

A rip-roaring adventure from the creator of Tarzan. It's 1916 and the Great War is raging. The U-33 has been sinking allied ships and capturing survivors. A series of twists leaves the survivors in charge and the U-33 off course and lost. The sub, following an underwater passage, surfaces to find itself on a thermal crater lake in a strange land and almost out of fuel. There is high drama, double cross, and dirty tricks as the German crew and their English and American captors fight dinosaurs, sub-humans, and each other.

The Land That Time Forgot (1918) by Edgar Rice Burroughs is told in first person from a manuscript found in a bottle at the Greenland coast. The manuscript was written by an American from California but it is a British citizen that finds the bottle and reads the manuscript. Narrator Raymond Todd reads the story with a British accent.

This is the first book in the Caspak trilogy. Listen to the audiobook or read the ebook via Hoopla.



Don't Look for Me

Don't Look for Me by Wendy Walker will be loved by anyone looking for a good thriller with plenty of twists. Molly Clarke is a woman who just disappears during a bad storm. The police investigating her case just think it's a "walk-away." Her car was abandoned many miles from home. A note was found at a nearby hotel. She's just a woman desperate to start a brand new life. Appearances are not always what they seem however. Good thing her daughter refuses to stop searching. 

Available as an eaudiobook and ebook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).  Listen to the eaudiobook now on Hoopla.




Falling

Falling by T.J Newman is a suspense filled on-stop flight from Los Angeles to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Captain of the flight is Bill Hoffman and his First Officer Ben are in the cockpit of Coastal Airway airlines. After the plane takes off from L.A., the Captain finds out that his family has been taken hostage. The terrorist is making Bill make a decision. He has to crash the plan with 149 souls on board or save his family. Bill won't make this decision and decides that he will try to save both. Little does he know that someone onboard is part of the plan to help him decide. Great action packed book. I couldn't stop reading once I started.

Available as an eaudiobook and ebook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).

The Taking of Jake Livingston

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass documents a black queer teen Medium in high school. He can see ghosts, spirits, and demons. One spirit in particular starts interfering with his life more than any other he has experienced. He embarks on an investigation that only he can see to send the spirit away, instead of walking free among the living and wreaking havoc. It's an even better experience when listened to in audiobook as it has two narrators intertwining a thriller from two points of view: Jake and the Spirit.

Available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).




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Series Spotlight: The Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Series

Do you love charming cozy mysteries with fun characters? Then you have to check out The Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Series by Abby Collette! The first book, A Deadly Inside Scoop (2020), introduces us to Bronwyn Crewse, a recent graduate who has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Ohio. Things are off to a rocky start when Bronwyn finds a dead body in the snow on re-opening day. The victim is a man who had a known feud with the Crewse family, and Bronwyn's father is the prime suspect.

The second book in the series, A Game of Cones (2021), features more mishaps; between Bronwyn's best friend being blamed for another killing in town to her stubborn aunt who's determined to take over the ice cream shop, Bronwyn can't seem to catch a break. But she'll stop at nothing to protect the people and parlor she loves.

The third book, A Killer Sundae, will be released in 2022 and continue the adventures of these quirky and loveable characters.

Listen to the audiobooks now on Hoopla.

Looking for more cozy mysteries? Check out the booklist on our website or eMediaLibrary.



The House by the Cemetery

If you're in the mood for a Halloween story, I recommend reading The House by the Cemetery by John Everson. It's the story of an abandoned house near the Midlothian turnpike by Bachelor's Grove, IL. Over many decades, teenagers have vandalized the old cemetery and have broken into the abandoned house to perform satanic rituals. Many residents in the area believed that there is a ghost of a witch that haunts the abandoned house. A young entrepreneur sees this as a business opportunity to create a haunted house (from an actual haunted house) for Halloween's month of October. He employs a carpenter, named Mike, to fix up the house. Mike soon discovers two trespassers who are eager to help him fix up the house. Many people are excited and are drawn to the house but many disappear. After the house is fixed and decorated for the haunted house, the ghosts are awakened. A few customers disappear during the haunted nights and the witch gets stronger as it gets closer to Halloween.



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