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Staff Book Reviews

Murakami, Haruki
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

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.

Reviewer's Name: Cassie
Purcell, Kim
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

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.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Renn, Crystal
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

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!

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: Rock the Kasbah
Loerzel, Marie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

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)

Reviewer's Name: Jan
Weiner, Jennifer
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

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.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Card, Orson Scott
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

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.

Reviewer's Name: Cassie
Weir, Andy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

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!

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

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.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Knapp, Andrew
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

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!

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Rich, Lani Diane
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

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

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Korelitz, Jean Hanff
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

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.

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Hosseini, Khaled
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The mistake I made was I kept taking breaks from this book for days at a time and when I came back I was confused because the book jumps from character to character, time period to time period. It kept me from really committing to the characters. It was well-written and I'm sure the reason it's only getting 3 stars is entirely my fault.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Conklin, Tara
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

2 heroines, one a 2004 lawyer and the other a slave in the mid 1800's. The author goes back and forth between the 2 leads, the 2 era's and the life situations seamlessly. this was the author's debut novel.

Reviewer's Name: Trish
Genres:
Palacio, R. J.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This was a sweet book. I loved Auggie's voice and how different parts of the book were narrated by different characters. I also loved the message, which was to always be kinder than necessary. A feel-good, quick read.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Joyce, William
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I don't normally review picture books, but this book was awesome! The story was compelling and beautifully written and the artwork was gorgeous. Zoe fell asleep as I was reading it to her, which is rare for her. Since it's a book about the Sandman, this is a good thing. So beautiful.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Yousafzai, Malala
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A powerful look at a young girl's fight for education in Pakistan. Malala starts by filling us in on her country's history, from before colonization by the British through the Taliban takeover. All the while she and her father fight for girls' education. It's hard not to despair for her as she is fighting against such great odds, but her positive attitude reminds us that good can overcome evil. She wants every person in the world to be educated. Amen to that!

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Brosh, Allie
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This book is a funny look at a woman's neuroses, with great drawings. I could relate to her constantly feeling like she wanted to trip strangers, throw sand at beachgoers, and otherwise behave inappropriately. It got three stars because while it was funny, it was a bit disjointed as well. Still, worth the quick read.

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

Wonder is wonderFUL. At times your heart is breaking and at others soaring during this story of a boy's experiences in middle school. Even if you weren't born with a chromosomal abnormality that has rearranged your face, you will find yourself in the pages of this book. I am far removed from middle and high school days, but the characters found in 'Wonder' are all distinct reminders of that time, and I suspect young people reading this book will see themselves here too.

Reviewer's Name: Evan
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I could say so many things about this book, but what I most want to say is that you should read it. Even when you're crying and want to put it down, you're laughing through your tears a few paragraphs later. Beautiful and memorable.

Reviewer's Name: Evan
Genres:
LeDuff, Charlie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I've never enjoyed an obituary so much. Charlie LeDuff sure knows how to cozy up to his readers, even if the tales he's telling are less than happy, quaint musings set in Paradise. An easygoing, narrative style meant I had serious trouble putting this book down. Partially, I'm fascinated by the empty shell that is now the city of Detroit- and I'd much rather hear about it from the bottom, up than vice versa. Real stories from real people put things into a much clearer perspective, while also lending a definite desperation to the tone. Detroit has died, and after ignoring its death throes, we didn't even have the decency to give it a proper funeral.

Charlie is ready to breathe one last breath of life into a city that has been burned down by its own residents no less than three times in history. It's a city that in fact gave birth to the American worker, the American sound, and American progress. It's hard to escape the irony that it's also where all of those things have gone to die.

Reviewer's Name: Evan

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