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The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

Read This! - Mon, 2014-03-03 01:01

Lily shares this review:

The Fault in Our Stars is a beautifully written story about two cancer kids that fall in love. It’s about the way we look at life and how, after a life close to us is taken away, that perspective effects the way we cope. It’s about learning that people aren’t who they seem (or who you want them) to be. People will disappoint you greatly, or perhaps surprise you into love. This book is about LIFE. Real life. Real people. Real love.

This story and the characters in it are alive in my heart and they will never leave. Reading this book brought laughter to my lips, tears to my eyes, and deep thoughts to my mind. What a marvelous combination! The way John Green writes makes me feel and think – not many writers can do that, and he does it wonderfully and fluidly. John Green, you are MAGNIFICENT.

The main two characters:

Hazel Lancaster – “I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die). It was, we were told, incurable.” ~Hazel, page 24.

Hazel is sixteen, her favorite book is An Imperial Infliction, and she enjoys watching reality TV shows with her parents. She attends college classes and has a huge vocabulary. Because of the metastasis forming in her lungs she is constantly hooked up to an oxygen tank. She has short brown hair and is told by Augustus she looks like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta.

She is an up-beat, sarcastic girl that has an irrepressible affection for…

Augustus Waters – Handsome and flirtatious, this guy stole that piece of my heart reserved for book boyfriends as soon as I set eyes on him. Augustus meets Hazel at Support Group and they start their relationship with a steamy stare-down, which Hazel wins. Confident, charming, tall. This guy has it all…well, I guess there’s the little detail of him having one leg due to the Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) that was in it.

Augustus is determined to leave his mark on the earth before he dies. In this way he is very different from Hazel, who is afraid to hurt anyone by leaving her mark and does all she can to prevent the pain others will feel when she herself dies. Augustus complains at one point of the book that he just wishes he could have a major impact on people. “It crossed my mind to fake a choking incident or something so that he might give me the Heimlich. Maybe then he could rid himself of this fear that his life had been lived and lost for no greater good.” ~Hazel, page 237.

She then tries to make him understand that by just living he impacts those around him: “I just want to be enough for you, but I never can be. This can never be enough for you. But this is all you get. You get me, and your family, and this world. This is your life.” ~Hazel, page 241.

They are young and in love and bring to mind a favorite quote from Doctor Who: “Life is short, and you are hot” ~Billy Shipton in the episode Blink.

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Categories: Read This

The Crown of Embers, by Rae Carson

Read This! - Fri, 2014-02-28 01:01

Jessica shares this review:

After a tough and lengthy battle against the Inviernos in book one, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, we would have thought Queen Elisa would finally have time to rebuild her kingdom and spend time with the people of her land. But alas, it is not so. Despite her hard earned, though apparently short-lived victory, Elisa now not only faces an external enemy but an internal one as well. Several of her Quorum members are showing concern regarding her decisions and seemingly making their own without her consent. Her personal taster has fallen dead and around every corner are suitors wishing to marry and align their kingdoms. Not to mention her people are beginning to riot against tax increases. What is a seventeen year old Queen, newly widowed and still the bearer of a Godstone to do? Set off on another adventure of course! With trusty Lord Hector, Mara, Ximena and a few new friends by her side, Elisa must follow the path that leads her towards her destiny and hopefully help her secure the power and strength she will need to rule. And yet, amongst all the chaos, Elisa fears she may be falling deeply and desperately in love…

Check the WRL catalog for The Crown of Embers

Categories: Read This

Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray

Read This! - Wed, 2014-02-26 01:01

Laurie shares this review:

A planeload of Miss Teen Dream contestants crash lands on a deserted island. Faced with giant snakes, quicksand and tsunami waves, can a dozen beauties survive?

Well, at least lack of food isn’t a problem.  “Ohmigosh,” says Miss Mississippi.  “I am going to be so superskinny by pageant time!”

We get a quick introduction to each of the girls from her “Miss Teen Dream Fun Facts Page!”  Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins, Miss Teen Dream Texas, was voted, “Most Likely to Rule the World in a Scary Way.”  It is Taylor who takes charge and insists that the group continue to drill for the pageant, even as they struggle to stay alive.
The maniacal Taylor leads a diverse group of young women who hail from coast to coast.  There’s Miss Nebraska, “with an accent as flat as a just-plowed field and huge, blue, anime-worthy eyes.”  She’s afraid of her own passion.   There’s Miss Michigan, who came straight to the pageant from Juvenile Detention, where she’d been sent after she stole a pack of Ho Hos from a Gas-It-N-Go. Miss Colorado and Miss California are the pageant’s two minority contestants.  Between the two of them their hobbies include fencing, synchronized Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics, classical piano, cello, Bollywood dancing, Indian cinema, meteorology, bowling, skiing and Nigerian drumming.  They eye one another warily.  No more than one minority ever makes it to the top five.

It turns out that these girls are pretty resourceful.  They filter rainwater with an evening gown, high heeled shoes and a jewelry cleaning unit.  They catch fish with straightening irons.  Oh—and best of all—they salvage bits of the airplane to use as tanning reflectors!

Beneath their luscious hair and golden tans, each girl hides a secret.  Why on earth did cynical Miss New Hampshire even want to be in a beauty pageant?  Why is Miss Rhode Island so desperate to find her make-up case?   And the island harbors a secret, as well.  The beauty queens really aren’t alone.  And even though Miss Texas says, “A girl’s best weapon is her smile,” this group is going to need more firepower than that to get off the island alive.

At times, this is a wacky, adventure story and a well-manicured satire of the beauty pageant world.  At others, it is a story about a group of smart, talented girls who learn the beauty of being who they are, and not who the world wants them to be.   If you are a fan of audiobooks, don’t miss this one.  Bray reads it herself, and her accents are hysterical.

Check the WRL catalog for Beauty Queens

Or check out the audiobook

Categories: Read This

The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

Read This! - Mon, 2014-02-24 01:01

Jessica shares this review:

When Thomas comes to in the box he can’t remember anything…not his hometown, not his family, not his school, not even his age. He is utterly lost and confused when the box opens and he’s suddenly surrounded by a group of unknown teenage boys in an alien environment. They introduce themselves as “the Gladers”. Much to Thomas’s shock they can’t remember anything about themselves either prior to arriving in the glade. The area itself is large and flat consisting of a homestead, farming fields, a butcher, an eating space and much to Thomas’s dismay, a graveyard.  The glade is surrounded by large concrete walls decked in ivy. They open each morning and close each evening. Beyond the walls, in all four directions is an incredibly large and complex maze. The boys have spent the last two years looking for a way out, hoping to somehow solve the maze with its shifting walls and deadly creatures. But as of yet, they’ve had no success. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered to the glade. But Thomas’s arrival signals a change and the next few days bring more surprises than the boys could ever have prepared for. A mysterious comatose girl arrives with a startling message, the runners make new discoveries and Thomas begins to get the feeling he knows much more about the maze and the glade than he should. Frustration and confusion surround each day and Thomas starts to wonder how the boys will ever escape the maze…and if it’s meant to be escapable at all.  But overshadowing the entirety of the novel are the questions…who would put them here? And why?
Side note: This book has been adapted into a film and will debut in September 2014.

Check the WRL catalog for The Maze Runner

Categories: Read This

The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

Read This! - Fri, 2014-02-21 01:01

Jennifer D. shares this review:

Kate Kae Myers, author of The Vanishing Game, wrote on her blog, “Smart teens interested in clues and codes (and fiction, of course!) are my target market.” I may no longer be a teen, but I am definitely a fan of fiction that incorporates clues and codes. That may have been what started me reading, but what kept me reading was the atmosphere, the suspense, and the plot. It is a mystery, thriller, noir, fantasy novel all weaved into one. It is suitably eerie as well as puzzling. Most of the time I had no idea where the story would twist and turn next, and I certainly didn’t guess the ending.

The overarching mystery in the story is whether Jocelyn’s brother Jack is dead or alive. Jocelyn was told that Jack had died in a car wreck, but shortly thereafter she received a letter in the mail. It was signed “Jason December,” a code name she and Jack had created as children. The only other person who knew that name was their friend Noah. Jocelyn, Jack, and Noah had all grown up in Seale House, a foster home where they were neglected. One of their diversions was making up codes to try and stump one another. The message Jocelyn receives from “Jason December” is a newspaper clipping about a fire that destroyed Seale House. Jocelyn is sure it is a clue, especially since it was sent after Jack’s death, but first she must track down Noah. At worst she can confirm that he did not send the letter, at best maybe he’ll help her find Jack.

Now you know as much as I did when I started reading The Vanishing Game. I wouldn’t deprive you the enjoyment of finding out the rest for yourself. Myers drops you right into the middle of the action and rarely gives you time to catch your breath. I also wouldn’t recommend reading this alone at night. Myers’ story is as creepy as it is suspenseful.

Check the WRL catalog for The Vanishing Game.

Categories: Read This

Pawn, by Aimee Carter

Read This! - Wed, 2014-02-19 01:01

Jessica shares this review:

Pawn is the first in a new series from Aimee Carter, author of the Goddess Test. Set in a dystopian, futuristic United States this novel follows the popular trend of a strong female character that begins as an underdog and through unthinkable circumstances has a chance to change her fate. Kitty Doe has just received some very bad news. She’s a III. Not an average IV or a rarer V or VI, but a III. And in a hierarchal society where the number you achieve on a nationwide exam determines the rest of your life a III can only mean an existence of menial work and struggle. Hurt, disgraced and angry Kitty decides to leave the group home where she was raised (due to the law that all second children of IV’s and below must be taken from their parents and either raised in such a home or sent Elsewhere) and head for an illegal “club”. However, things take a turn for the extreme when she is taken by the family of the country’s Prime Minister and offered the rarest of opportunities. She can become a VII, a rank given only to those of the ruling family. But there’s a catch; she must take on the identity of Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece. Lila died in a questionable way and the country is to be none the wiser. As long as Kitty plays by their rules, and is to be Masked (an intense surgical procedure) she can live the life others can only dream of.  But nothing is at seems and beautiful Lila was actually at the heart of a rebellion to overthrow her own family’s regime. Kitty must decide…should she simply play the part of innocent Lila in the hopes the cruel Hart family will allow her to live, or, should she follow a more dangerous path, and continue the uprising the real Lila began?

Check the WRL catalog for Pawn 

Categories: Read This

Everneath, by Brodi Ashton

Read This! - Mon, 2014-02-17 01:01

Jennifer D. shares this review:

Nikki Beckett is a modern-day Persephone. One hundred years ago, Cole took her to the Everneath, where Everlivings like him feed off the lives of forfeits—mortals with nothing left to live for. But Nikki still had one thing left. She was supposed to retain no memory of her previous life. Forfeits shouldn’t even be able to function after they have been drained. But when Nikki woke, she was still herself. Cole realized that Nikki was very special and asked her to stay with him forever as an Everliving. Knowing that she would then be required to feed off of forfeits herself, Nikki turned him down, and her fate was sealed. Nikki would return to the Surface, but after six months she will be returned to endure a painful eternity fueling the Everneath.

When Nikki returns to the Surface only six months have passed since her family and friends thought she ran away. Now she has six months to make amends before the Everneath claims her again. All Nikki had intended was to set a few things right, say a proper goodbye, and keep to the fringes for the time she had left. But it turns out to be harder to stay uninvolved than she expected. Her father, her brother, and her best friend Jules all want answers. There is the added pressure of Cole, and his attempts to change her mind about becoming an Everliving. And there’s Jack. How can she say goodbye to the person 100 years in the Everneath couldn’t erase?

Everneath is the first in a planned trilogy that will appeal to paranormal romance and mythology fans alike. Check out the sequel, Everbound.

Check the WRL catalog for Everneath.

Categories: Read This

The List, by Siobhan Vivian

Read This! - Fri, 2014-02-14 01:01

Melissa shares this review:

Be warned: This is one of those books that you won’t want to put down once you start reading.

The List is about… a list. You may know the kind: who is smartest, who is best in sports, who you want to kiss, who you don’t want to kiss…

At fictional Mount Washington High School it has become a tradition to post the prettiest and the ugliest girl in each grade on the last Monday of September.

The book follows the eight girls through the week following the posting. The story alternates between the characters – the new girl, the jock, the mean girl, the popular girl, the wanna-be popular girl, the outsider… It’s amazing how much you can find out about someone by observing one week of her life. And this is the week prior to the Homecoming dance, so a lot is happening.

The author manages to quickly jump below the surface labels to show the person inside. The person who is so much more than a name on a list. And as you may guess, the girls who make it on the list, whether as prettiest or ugliest, have a tough time with being singled out for her looks.

The List is fast-paced and entertaining as well as insightful. The story doesn’t end with all the pieces neatly tied up, which may frustrate some readers. But, like me, I think that many more readers will find this glimpse heartbreaking and thought-provoking. I just couldn’t put the book down until I read every word. I think this would make a great book for discussion – whether with adults or teens or a combination of both. I can promise you this, you won’t look at another list the same way!

Check the WRL catalog for The List

Categories: Read This

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

Read This! - Wed, 2014-02-12 01:01

Charlotte shares this review:

The narrator of this WWII historical thriller is a coward, a quisling, a traitor to her country. She has caved under pressure (okay, you might call it torture) from her Gestapo captors and blabbed everything she knows about wireless codes and English military secrets. The real Resistance prisoners she’s held with spit on the ground when she walks by.

Held for weeks in a makeshift prison in occupied France, our narrator is writing a confession of sorts for SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden, who really wants details about English double agents and air forces, but is getting more story than he bargained for: her first flight on a Puss Moth, her recruitment as a special ops agent, and, especially, her friendship with Maddie Brodatt, a female pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary.

And it’s weird, but in the slowly-emerging picture of our narrator’s old life… she doesn’t sound like a coward. In fact, I keep picturing Steve McQueen. Steve might be dismayed that I have mentally cast him as a tiny Scottish blonde, but there is a clear Steve McQueen vibe coming through in her attitude. Specifically, Steve McQueen in The Great Escape: cracking wise, mouthing off, locked up in the cooler with his baseball and biding his time until the next escape attempt.

And this handwritten confession has been underlined in key places–passages that describe the repurposed hotel/prison, its layout, the timing of the guards, everything you might need to know, in short, if you were planning a rescue mission.

I’ve gushed about Elizabeth Wein’s prose before, and I’ll say it again: not a word is wasted. Details about the English home front, wartime aviation, and the French resistance fly by in support of a cracking good adventure. I did not need to see the closing bibliography to know that the author immersed herself in memoirs from the time, because she uses the kinds of detail that only real life supplies to fiction. Nor did it come as a surprise that Wein has firsthand experience as a pilot. Her descriptions of England as seen from the sky are some of the book’s most moving passages.

Suspense, characters you care about, a thrilling and heartbreaking adventure. Historical fiction: this is how you do it.

Check the WRL catalog for Code Name Verity.

Categories: Read This

Jessica Rules the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey

Read This! - Mon, 2014-02-10 01:01

Noreen shares this review:

The sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side finds Jessica married to Lucius Vladescu and living in a castle. In many a story this would be the beginning of happily ever after, but not for Jess. She has to prove herself and claim her throne by convincing the Vampire nation that she is capable and can rule. Everything is hard, even ordering food, speaking the language, and figuring out who is for and who is against her. When Lucius is accused of murder, her one rock is gone. Who can she trust? Her uncle and his daughter who seem to care, her best friend Mindy who has come to stay and help, or Lucius’s Cousin Rainero Lovatu? Can Jessica save Lucius and herself?

As the story unfolds we learn more about Rainero and Mindy, who have established their own relationship full of twists and turns. Uncle Dorin seems to want to help as does his daughter Ylenia. We are drawn into the morass of problems and responsibilities Jessica faces. Can she prove herself worthy of becoming Queen?

Beth Fantaskey has created a fascinating Vampire world inhabited by memorable characters. Even Jessica, who sometimes seems wimpy, is real and believable. And, while Jessica does ultimately rise to the occasion, the book ends before we know if she will actually become Queen. The book is beautifully written and staged, leaving the reader hoping for a third book telling us how it all ends for Jessica and Lucius, Mindy and Rainero, and Vampire nation.

Check the WRL catalog for Jessica Rules the Dark Side

Check the WRL catalog for Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Categories: Read This

The Beginning of After, by Jennifer Castle

Read This! - Fri, 2014-02-07 01:01

Jennifer D. shares this review:

Laurel never dreamed that walking home from dinner at her neighbor’s and choosing homework over ice cream would save her life. Laurel’s parents, brother, and neighbors head off for dessert, leaving Laurel and the neighbor’s son, David, to their own plans. They never make it home. Laurel must now handle losing her entire family to a car accident David’s father seems to have caused, and cope with the survivor’s guilt she feels.

Beginning of After tells the story of Laurel’s first year without her family. She completes the end of her junior year, takes her SATs, goes to prom with Joe, the Brian Krakow to David’s Jordan Catalano (My So-Called Life reference – I just couldn’t shake this comparison throughout the entire book), gets a summer job, and starts senior year all while trying not to break down. And she does break down, occasionally at the most inopportune times.

Laurel’s relationships with friends, her grandmother (who comes to live with her), counselor, therapist, Joe, and with David are all woven into a wonderful story of her life after loss. At times it is tragic and moving, and others uplifting and exciting. Ms. Castle takes you along on Laurel’s journey and every emotion Laurel feels and reaction she has is earned and realistic.

Check the WRL catalog for The Beginning of After

Categories: Read This

Upgrade U, by Ni-Ni Simone

Read This! - Wed, 2014-02-05 01:01

Kiera shares this review:

“Life is poppin’ and seventeen-year-old Seven McKnight is rockin’ Stiles University’s hottest baller, Josiah Whitaker, on her arm when it all falls apart. With groupies threatening her basketball wife status and Josiah’s dreams of the NBA blowing up his ego, Seven finds herself in a tailspin. . .should she stay or leave? In steps the unbelievably fine sophomore heartthrob, Zaire St. James, who’s been watching Seven and waiting for his chance. With Josiah doing his own thing, Seven finds herself falling for Zaire. But just when she decides to give Zaire her everything, Josiah becomes determined to win Seven back by any means necessary. . . ” – summary from Book Cover

I thought this book was fantastico! The characters were really funny and made me laugh. This had to be the only book in history to make me laugh out loud. I would definitely recommend it.

Check the WRL catalog for Upgrade U

Categories: Read This

Meant to Be, by Lauren Morrill

Read This! - Mon, 2014-02-03 01:01

Keseanna shares this review:

“Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”). But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London.” – Summary from book cover

I thought this book was great. It gives us something different to think about. In some parts it was really ironic, but in most parts the book was great. I’ve read it seven times, over and over again. Sorry to say I barely like reading but I love this book. I would definitely recommend it.

Check the WRL catalog for Meant to Be

Categories: Read This

Ashfall, by Mike Mullin

Read This! - Fri, 2014-01-31 01:01

Jan shares this review:

Some apocalyptic stories begin with human folly. Ashfall starts with a catastrophe that no human could ever prevent, the eruption of the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park. Some authorities think that these supervolcanic events have occurred several times in the course of human history. They may have caused ice ages and may have caused a bottleneck in human evolution. Perhaps humans can predict supervolcanic events in the short term if we notice a rise in seismic and volcanic activity but no human power can prevent them.

In Ashfall, Alex is an ordinary teenager living in a suburb in Iowa. He argues with his mother and likes playing World of Warcraft. He is thrilled when his parents go on a weekend visit to his uncle’s farm 3 hours’ drive away in Warren, Illinois and leave him home alone for the first time.

Nobody suspected that this routine Friday would be the last ordinary day that anyone in America, and maybe the whole world, would ever see. Alex’s house suddenly explodes into flames and all the phones, internet and even the radios don’t work. He goes to a neighbor’s house and for days the world is plunged into darkness as they are surrounded by a noise so loud that they have to stuff toilet paper in their ears and wear headphones to prevent pain. At first Alex has no idea what is going on, but his neighbor connects the crazy events to a short radio news bulletin about a volcanic eruption.

Even when they know what has happened, nobody knows what it means for them in the short term or humanity in the long term. All Alex knows is that he must find his family, so he sets off with cross country skis and a backpack of food. Conditions are terrible as every water source is poisoned and it becomes so cold that it starts snowing in September, but the behavior of people is far worse. Some are kind, together in towns to look after each other, but with civilization collapsing, criminals have no restraints. Alex meets good people like sharp-tongued Darla but also murderous criminals like Target.

Ashfall can be enjoyed as a tense action adventure with fascinating post-apocalyptic problems. Who would have considered that flat-roofed buildings are a terrible choice during a supervolcanic eruption because they may collapse under the weight of the ash? But Ashfall is more than a simple thriller. Author Mike Mullins movingly and realistically portrays Alex’s growth from a spoiled teenager to a strong and mature young man, capable of surviving in the new, harsh world.

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Categories: Read This

Dead to You, by Lisa McMann

Read This! - Wed, 2014-01-29 01:01

Jennifer D. shares this review:

Today we have a book about a family that loses a child. Ethan was nine years old when he was taken from his front yard. His younger brother was the only witness. Now, eight years later, Ethan has returned home. Each member of his family, which now includes a six-year-old sister, reacts in different ways. His parents are so happy to have him home, but his brother is angry, confused, and unwelcoming. His sister, too young to know the whole story of his abduction, adapts to him quickly and is much like he was at her age.

Ethan’s homecoming is far from idyllic, however. He is having trouble coping with his new life, which is very different than the one he has known. He has virtually no memory of his life with his actual family, remembering only the life he led with Ellen, the woman who took him. After living with her for many years, she abandoned him at a group home, from which he eventually ran away. He lived on the street for a year after that, before finding his family on a website for missing children. What starts as a happy reunion soon shows the strain of Ethan’s efforts to regain his memories, his reintroduction to friends and family, enrolling in school, and heated therapy sessions.

Ms. McMann’s story is dramatic and well-told.

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Categories: Read This

House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

Read This! - Mon, 2014-01-27 01:01

Lizzy shares this review:

House of Hades is the fourth installment of the Heroes of Olympus series. It starts off promising with a fight. As it continues you see the characters personalities start to change. They start to take on certain roles. The plot twists and turns to bring you through the shocking facts learned. Read if you dare!

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Categories: Read This

Legend, by Marie Lu

Read This! - Fri, 2014-01-24 01:01

Melissa shares this review:

Legend is told in alternating chapters by Day and June.

Day is a boy from the poor part of town. He is wanted by the Republic for a variety of crimes—sabotaging military equipment and supplies; distributing stolen money, food, and medicine to the poor; cooperating with the Patriots, the rebels fighting against the Republic; and killing a young Republic officer. Not all of those charges are true.

June is a promising young Republic soldier. She has no reason to doubt anything about her life in the Republic until her brother is killed. She is given the special order to use any means to capture his killer—the notorious Day. June is good at her job. But instead of finding peace, she begins to doubt much of what the Republic has told her.

I really liked the main characters. Day and June are both good people, trying to do the right thing. But their perceptions of what is the right thing are influenced by their circumstances—either growing up poor and being oppressed by the government or growing up privileged and believing in the government as taught in school and on the huge JumboTron screens.

Lu does a great job creating the dystopian world of the Republic. There are just enough hints that things haven’t always been this way to keep you reading for more clues.

Legend is the first in a trilogy and would be a good read-alike for the popular Hunger Games.

Check the WRL catalog for Legend.

Categories: Read This

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith

Read This! - Wed, 2014-01-22 01:01

Jennifer D. shares this review:

As the song goes, “What a difference a day makes. Twenty-four little hours.” The events of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight take place over the course of just one day. It is a very momentous day for Hadley and Oliver. They meet at the airport, on a transatlantic flight from New York to London. Hadley might never have met Oliver if she had made her original flight. But, in this case, the four minutes she was late made all the difference.

Hadley is on her way to her father’s wedding. He left her and her mother for a job at Oxford two years ago, and never came back. Hadley is still bitter about it, but she has been told in no uncertain terms that she must attend this wedding. His wedding to “that British woman,” as Hadley refers to her soon-to-be stepmother. Add to that her crippling claustrophobia, and she is really dreading this trip. Then she meets Oliver.

Oliver is a British college student studying at Yale. He is also on his way to London for a wedding, and he doesn’t seem any more excited about the prospect than Hadley. He is very helpful in getting her through her fear of flying, however, as they talk the seven hour flight away. By the time they arrive at Heathrow they have formed quite the attachment and, even though they go their separate ways, Hadley can’t help but hope they’ll meet again.

If you’ve done the math, you know that Hadley and Oliver’s flight has only brought us to the seven hour mark of the aforementioned twenty-four hours, so there’s a pretty decent chance their story doesn’t end there. Odds are they’ve probably fallen in love at first sight.

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Categories: Read This

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Read This! - Mon, 2014-01-20 01:01

Trisha shares this review:

The novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is about a freshman boy who lives on an Indian reservation. His family is very poor. His best friend is the rez bully, but he is very nice to the boy named Junior. Junior goes to a poor school on the reservation where there are not many students that ever do anything with their lives. However, Junior has promise and he wants to do something with his life and get off the reservation and find hope. After an interesting conversation with a teacher on the reservation, Junior decides to go to a school off the reservation where he thinks he will find hope and through a series of ups and downs this novel does a wonderful job of telling the story of Junior’s freshman year.

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Categories: Read This

These Broken Stars, by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Read This! - Fri, 2014-01-17 01:01

Nora shares this review:

In a world filled with dozens of planets to inhabit, hover trays, and stars as far as the eye can see, the Icarus, an enormous spaceship zooming through hyperspace, carries the most lavish and privileged people in the galaxy. Among those tens of thousands of passengers is Lilac LaRoux, the red-haired daughter of the wealthiest man in the universe, and Tarver Merendsen, a war hero who feels quite out of place on the Icarus. As soon as Tarver picks up Lilac’s glove, they click like a button.

After Lilac is reminded by her cousin, Anna, that Tarver and Lilac could never be involved romantically due to his lack of money, the ship vibrates with a jolt. A quick announcement informs everyone to immediately make their way to an emergency pod.

After Lilac’s tumble over a railing, Lilac and Tarver end up inside a crew’s pod as the ship is sucked into a planet’s gravitational pull. Fortunately, Lilac manages to detach their pod from the ship, and they are forced to watch as the Icarus crumbles and falls.

As the pair make their journey across the planet, they seem to be the only survivors, so they work together to trek across the planet to find help. However, it seems like Tarver and Lilac aren’t alone on the planet, and there is mystery lurking around every corner. But they first must overcome their disdain for each other to survive on a mysterious, perilous planet.

I absolutely loved this book. The characters were phenomenal, the setting was beautiful, and the plot was completely unexpected with a major twist at the end. I couldn’t put this book down, and now I’m impatiently waiting for the sequel!

If you are a fan of sci-fi, you absolutely must pick up this book. It incorporates sci-fi, romantic, and a bit of supernatural elements into one to create a fantastic novel!

Read These Broken Stars to see if Tarver and Lilac can make it over rolling plains, jagged mountains, and mounds of debris to reach their final goal: rescue.

Check the WRL catalog for These Broken Stars

Categories: Read This