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Staff Book Reviews

McCarthy, Cormac
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Scary and haunting. There were times when I actually had to put this book down because I was so terrified by what had just happened or what I thought was going to. Cormac McCarthy can take a sparse, post-apocalyptic nothingness and turn it into a setting rich with emotion and detail. I find myself still thinking about this story; wondering, hoping...unable to let go of the images it leaves behind.

Reviewer's Name: Evan
Genres:
Neuhaus, Nele
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Snow White Must Die is an excellent police procedural/mystery. It is by German author, Nele Neuhaus, but the translation is flawless. It doesn't read like a stiffly translated book. If this hadn't been the Manitou Library's book club selection, I probably wouldn't have read it since I don't care for translated books. Snow White Must Die is outstanding and I am looking forward to reading Neuhaus' other books. I don't want to give away the plot, so read it for yourself. It is in hardback and on Overdrive.

Reviewer's Name: Susan
Genres:
Gaiman, Neil
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Beautiful little story, full of fantastic imagery and good feelings.

It revolves around the journey of a young man in search of a fallen star for his love. He travels through the magical land of Faerie and encounters many wonderful, strange and malicious beings. A great book with a happy ending.

Reviewer's Name: Cassie
Genres:
Levithan, David
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is set up as a series of dictionary entries that portray one couple's roller coaster of a love story. As such it follows no specific timeline and lets the reader try to piece it together one entry at a time.

There is at least one word for each letter and the corresponding "definitions" range from a few words to multiple pages making this book a quick read at only a little over 200 pages.

Reviewer's Name: Tori
Genres:
Smith, Andrew
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

It was o.k. I felt like there was just not much of a plot until the very end, and then it just... ended. If the end (those of you who have read it know the "end" I'm talking about) would have been more toward the middle of the story, I think the book would have been more interesting.

Otherwise, it was a book about a teenager who is overly cocky to hide his insecurity. Nothing really new. Funny in parts, and not unreadable, just o.k.

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Davidson, Jim
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Absolutely amazing! This is not at all the type of book I usually read, but the author is going to be coming to speak at our library so I wanted to learn more about him. I could NOT put it down (even thought it was about 12:30 a.m.)! Will be highly recommending this book.

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Stimson, Ellen
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

I was really looking forward to this book, and it started off very well - there were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments. But toward the middle, the author seemed to start rambling. The stories jumped around and it was more of the author flitting around her memory for cute stories rather than one cohesive tale. It got to the point that I had to put the book down. Her habit of ending a paragraph with a telling "clue" of the next story became annoying as well.

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Atkinson, Kate
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Wavering between three and four stars. While I appreciated the intricacy of Ursula's many lives (I kind of saw it as a Sliding Doors type of book), there were points when I was madly flipping back and forth trying to remember what happened the LAST time she died and who the myriad of characters were, which was frustrating and took me out of the story. I do think the writing was amazing, and read this much faster than I anticipated.
I agree with other reviews I have read in that I'm not sure how it should have ended, but the one it had was not as strong as the rest of the book. I may change the rating once I have the chance to digest this book a bit more!

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Shaffer, Mary Ann
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This was a wonderful book written by the characters in the form of letters to each other. The story line was engaging. Historical fiction that takes place shortly after the Nazi occupation of an island between England and France. It felt as if you had spent time with new friends at the end of the book. Charming!

Reviewer's Name: Angie
Genres:
Zusak, Markus
2 stars = Meh
Review:

This book was too long and the author tried too hard to make it deep and poetic. But I read the whole thing, so it wasn't bad. I liked hearing about Hitler's reign from a German non-Jew perspective. Death as a narrator was okay, I guess. I don't know, it just didn't really work for me. Also, although it's technically a teen book, I think it's more suited for adults.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Riggs, Ransom
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This was a really neat book. I really enjoyed the photos and the way they were woven together to make a fascinating story. I can imagine the author collecting odd photos and then constructing a story to link them all together. I wonder if there will be a sequel?

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Adams, Douglas
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I finished 3 of the 5 books. Books 1 and 2 were AWESOME, 5 stars for sure, but Book 3 got a bit convoluted. But I love Hitchhikers, especially the bizarre jokes that manifest themselves throughout the book. Great bits include the bovine animal at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe that tries to tempt Dent and friends with various parts of its body for dinner; Slartibartfast and his award-winning fjords; The planet that tricked its mid-level personnel to leave it for Earth; The fact that Earth is actually a giant computer made by mice to determine the Question to the Answer of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Good stuff. Very, very funny.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Palacio, R. J.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is one of the best books I've read recently! A ten-year old boy with facial abnormailities moves from being homeschooled to a private school starting 5th grade. The book is beautifully written, showing the growth in him, his family, his classmates, and the school staff, as they learn to appreciate the value of each person. The author has chosen to have different people narrate several chapters at a time, making the book a well-round, completely fascinating read!

Reviewer's Name: Deb
Genres:
Fielding, Helen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Yay! I love Bridget. I can't help it. She has a special place in my heart. At times sad, at times frustrating, at times very funny, and completely full of heart, this book is the perfect homage to perhaps the most endearing heroine in chick lit.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Crystal, Billy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Listen to the audio version of this book. Billy Crystal reads it and it's awesome. He's got such a great attitude about his life and his gratefulness permeates the pages. Thumbs up!

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Barrie, J.M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

From the moment Wendy realizes she'll grow up, to the very end when Peter stole Mrs. Darlings thimbles, this book was brilliant, sad, and filled with adventure. I loved that Tinker Bell was a a 'common' fairy and that Hook was more three dimensional and not an all evil figure. The narrative was beautiful, clever, and even a bit melancholy. Peter is the tragic figure here. But of course, he's fine and happy. I loved how Wendy's daughter and granddaughter played into the mix. Perhaps you stay young forever through your offspring.

Michael Hague illustrates this volume brilliantly.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Palahniuk, Chuck
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Doomed was the amazing sequel to Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. He, being one of my favorite authors, has yet to let me down, though I admittedly have always been skeptical of sequels. There was nothing disappointing about Doomed. It fulfilled all the same curiosities, gruesome details, excitement and dark humour that Damned had. The series is an account, written by a 13-year old girl as blog entries (Damned was written as letters to Satan).
Madison Spencer died and was sent to Hell to pay for her earthly crimes. It details her heroism and her mission to save the rest of the planet from going to Hell as she did. It's very imaginative, easy to read, and captivating.

Reviewer's Name: Cassie
Genres:
Hillenbrand, Laura
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wow. This book was gripping! The resilience involved with surviving as a POW in Japan was amazing to me. Louie Zamperini is one-of-a-kind. There was a dogfight towards the beginning of the book which ended the life of "Super Man" that was so astonishingly realistic I literally could not put down the book. Awesome. I highly recommend this book as a portrait of the World War II psyche.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Dugard, Jaycee
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Wow, this book was at times disturbing, perplexing, and heart-wrenching. It was interesting to hear about Jaycee's abduction from her point of view. I can see how it lasted 18 years as she was afraid of what would happen if she defied her abductor and as she wanted to protect her daughters. I couldn't help but feel for her mother, who must have been beside herself with worry. Jaycee is a very strong, brave, and resilient woman and I wish her the best.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Richards, Jame
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Written in short verses, Three Rivers Rising is a fictional account of the disastrous Johnstown Flood that occurred in 1889. Several different characters are introduced, each on a different rung of the complex social hierarchy of the time, and each affected by the flooding in various ways.

The verse format seems to be catching on more in young adult literature, and though I do like how fast the book reads a result, I always feel like certain details don't get fleshed out well enough.

This story spends so much time examining people and their lives before the flood, but doesn't spend enough time describing the aftermath and how the survivors dealt with the incredible loss of life and property.

Reviewer's Name: ekendrick
Genres:

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