All Book Reviews

Book Review: Hollow City
Riggs, Ransom
4 stars = Really Good

The story of Miss Peregrine's children just keeps getting better! I enjoyed the first book, but Hollow City, in my opinion, was a more finely tuned and intense story. So many beautiful and unusual images, and I love how the characters continue to grow and reveal hidden aspects of themselves. I can't wait until the final book come out!

Cassie
Book Review: Let the Right One In
Ajvide Lindqvist, John
4 stars = Really Good

Though, it was a very rare situation that I actually preferred the film to the novel, this horror story was very well written and kept my interest the whole way through. Oskar is a 13 year old boy with very few friends and broken home. When along comes the mysterious Eli, who says she's been 13 years old for a very long time. It's unexpectedly touching, terrifying, and psychologically fascinating. I feel that it could've done with fewer chapters, however, focused more on the the primary characters.

Cassie
Book Review: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Gian
Gladwell, Malcolm
4 stars = Really Good

This book was very good. I learned a lot about the mindset and behaviors of the underdog and the necessity of power to promote legitimacy. My favorite part was about the Civil Rights movement and how the leaders used their underdog situation to it's full advantage. So interesting! However, the book ended very abruptly. I would have loved to have seen one more chapter that summed everything up. Oh well.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Crown of Midnight
Maas, Sarah
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book was one of those rare occurrences when the sequel is way better than the first. I almost didn't read the sequel because they first book was pretty disappointing, but boy am I glad I did. This book is so fast paced that I couldn't put it down. Every page seemed to hold a new surprise and plot twist. It was stuffed with surprises without being overdone and the ending left me panting for the next installment.

Naomi
Book Review: Fatal Flaws
Hanegraass, Hank
2 stars = Meh

na

Jane
Book Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Kinney, Jeff
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

diary of a wimpy kid

Matthew
Book Review: A Discovery of Witches
Harkness, Deborah
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

A friend came to the library looking for the third book in this trilogy. It doesn't come out until July 15, 2014. She told me that she really liked the series. I checked out A Discovery of Witches not knowing what to expect, but I love it! It's very well-written and the 579 pages read quickly. I don't want to spoil the plot for you, but there are witches, vampires and demons, lots of interesting history and a "political" (if you are a witch, demon or vampire) issue that make for a spell-binding story. Can't wait to read the second in the series.

Susan
Book Review: Love and Other Four-Letter Words
Mackler, Carolyn
3 stars = Pretty Good

The thing about teen books, especially 'chick-lit' style books, is they all seem to run together. As I was reading this book, I realized that somewhere in my hazy pre-baby past, I'd already read this book. I could just barely remember it. It was like having deja vu while reading. But still it was good, even for the second time around.

vfranklyn
Book Review: This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection
Burnett, Carol
4 stars = Really Good

I listened to Carol Burnett read this on audio and it was very good. I didn't watch her show as it was before my time, but I liked hearing stories about her life in show business. Thumbs up, especially on audio.

vfranklyn
Book Review: The City Of Ember
DuPrau, Jeanne
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Tis' book is truly amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jasper
Book Review: Girls in White Dresses
Close, Jennifer
2 stars = Meh

This was the blandest book I've read in awhile. The characters and situations were so similar and uninteresting that they were basically interchangeable. By the end of the book I couldn't have told you which character did what. Nothing of interest happened in the entire book. The writing was good enough, but man, boring!

vfranklyn
Book Review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Murakami, Haruki
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Went into it with little expectation and came out of it with my mind completely blown. It left me pondering, wondering what would I do if somehow I was left with such a decision as the main character had to deal with. The narrator speaks from two different points of view, one from his ordinary life in Tokyo and the other from the End of the World. Murakami brilliantly brings it all together with beautiful imagery and such a down to earth voice.

Cassie
Book Review: Shatter Me
Mafi, Tahereh
2 stars = Meh

"Shatter Me" is a wonderful example of the most cliché teen romance "novel" that anyone has ever read up. The summaries promised it to be an epic dystopian fiction, but as the story progressed Juliette, the main character became more interested in the idea of choosing between two men. Aaron, who captures her to conduct experiments with her power, or Adam, the boy she met when she was ten. Her options are not exactly out of the ordinary for a supposedly "Dystopian" fiction. The only real difference I see between this and the other books I've read in this past year is the gut wrenching number of similes and metaphors, some of which have absolutely no context to this story whatsoever. Though it was well written, this book could be mightily improved.

Maia
Book Review: Hero
Kontis, Alethea
4 stars = Really Good

Personally loved this book, I adored the main character and the setting was wonderfully done. I think that Saturday Woodcutter was a great character. When she decided that she was done trying to act like someone else, she went on an adventure. This book kept me thoroughly interested for a little over a week. The conclusion was mostly thrilling and made sense with the context of the book.

Maia
Book Review: Red Riding Hood
Blakley-Cartwright, Sarah
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I liked the fact that this was not a traditional retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Valerie is an intelligent individual who's goal is to capture the wolf. In this version the wolf lives inside a villager. This novel also touches on the corrupt church of the medieval time period and the cruelness that can be mankind. This story was a stunning mix of honesty and a fairy tale.

Maia
Book Review: Trafficked
Purcell, Kim
4 stars = Really Good

This was a really good book. Although it is considered teen fiction, it didn't really read that way. I was very impressed by the narrative. The protagonist is from Moldova and her voice is very authentic. The author obviously did her homework, particularly involving the different customs and dialects of the former Soviet Union and Moldova in particular. Crazy that stuff like this still happens in real life.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Hungry
Renn, Crystal
4 stars = Really Good

Crystal Renn's memoir is very powerful. Her description of her battle with anorexia is riveting and her realization that she was killing herself and her decision to become a plus size model was awesome. I love her positive body image. She encouraged me to find my 'set point' and love my body for what it is. Thanks Crystal!

vfranklyn
Book Review: Rock the Kasbah
Loerzel, Marie
4 stars = Really Good

Rock the Kasbah is an entertaining book written by a Colorado Springs local author. Marie and her family lived in Morocco. This book had me laughing out loud more than once. It is personal and touching and brutally honest. I highly recommend it. (p.s. It may not be for the faint of heart)

Jan
Book Review: The Next Best Thing
Weiner, Jennifer
3 stars = Pretty Good

This was a good book. It was unapologetically not great literature, just a fun, better than average example of chick lit. I enjoyed it. There. I admit it. I enjoy chick lit.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Ender's Game
Card, Orson Scott
3 stars = Pretty Good

If you can suffer through the prose, the story is quite fascinating. Scott Card's psychological storyline is very interesting, and the ending was unexpected. It's worth trekking through the poor word choices and mucky muck of what is supposed to be "adult conversation" just to see how it all ends.

Cassie
The Martian
Weir, Andy
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Well, of course, since one of the Mars rovers plays a significant part in the story! Mark Watney is marooned on Mars, the victim of a violent sand storm that sent his astronaut colleagues scrambling back to Earth, convinced that he was dead. Now it's all about survival, getting back home, and not going crazy when the only music available is one of the other astronaut's disco collection! Mark is one resourceful guy - kind of a Macgyver on Mars - and he's pretty good with a one-liner as well. He'll need all his skills, because Mars is a very dangerous place. Most of the book is in the form of log entries and they can be kind of technical. Just go with the flow and enjoy the twists and turns. Weir is obviously very conversant with space jargon and procedures and has produced a really authentic description of what could be a fanciful situation. Here's hoping that someone who reads this will be inspired to actually take us there!

Alan
Book Review: Hollow City
Riggs, Ransom
4 stars = Really Good

I liked this book better than book 1 (Mrs. Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children). It felt to me like book 1 was a prequel to this one. I'm glad there was some resolution with the main character's parents. I'll probably read the next installment. Definitely a cool idea to make a story out of found strange photos.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Find Momo
Knapp, Andrew
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

In each beautiful photograph, you can find Momo's sweet little face somewhere, sometimes in an obvious place, and sometimes you have to really search for him! Adorable little book - gorgeous photography as well!

Krista
Book Review: A Little Ray of Sunshine
Rich, Lani Diane
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

If you want just a good book to read that is light, funny, and yet poignant, give this one a try. Loved it!

Krista
Book Review: You Should Have Known
Korelitz, Jean Hanff
3 stars = Pretty Good

This book was not at all what I expected - I was thinking it would be more of a suspense novel. Instead it is about a woman coming to grips with her own hypocrisy as well as a horrific turn of events in her life. The beginning of the book was pretty difficult to get into - I was wondering what the author was setting us up for, but apparently it was just to show the shallowness of Grace's world. I also became frustrated at this apparently intelligent woman's complete lack of intuition (which maybe was the point!) Maybe she did "know" on some level and decided to stick her head in the sand.
As the story moved away from the murder and toward her rebuilding a life for her and her son, I actually started liking it more, surprisingly. 3 1/2 stars.

Krista