Goodreads Choice Award/Nominee

Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone
Author: 
Adeyemi, Tomi
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Zelie lives in Orisha, a place where magic used to live in abundance, until one night the king kills all the magi (the people who can control the magic), except for the children magi who have never used magic before. Zelie now finds herself trying to help a rogue princess get away, but that quickly turns to bringing magic back. With the help of her brother, the princess, and many others, Zelie now has a chance to bring magic back. I thought that the plot was very interesting and suspenseful. I did feel as if there were places in the book that could have been left out or shortened because there is a lot of detail that can become confusing. The book is the first part in a series, and the author did leave the book on a sort of cliffhanger making me want to read more. Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma

Book Review: I'll Give You The Sun

I'll Give You The Sun
Author: 
Nelson, Jandy
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

When books have awards on the cover it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll enjoy the book because the reviewers/critics are often adults and have a different perspective on teen/YA books. However “I’ll give you the Sun” actually lives up to the awards and reviews. This book has a complex plotthat weaves between the perspectives of Noah and Jude. Noah and Jude are twins who were always inseparable until high school and their mother’s death. Noah’s portions of the story are from before their mother’s death at age 13 and Jude’s perspective is from 16. Between the three years they both change dramatically, and you can see why they changed, and how everything became different. I really liked the title of the book, it fits the story without giving away too much. The characters are amazing, they all have depth, complexity, and a unique background, which drives the plot. This also made it easy to relate to the characters because they felt very real and human. Noah has a very clear way of seeing the world through color, and art. Jude sees the world through a very physical sense. It is pretty easy to get into this book and I found it hard to put down. This book has a great message of love and its complexities as well.

Reviewer's Name: 
McKenzie

Book Review: The Institute

The Institute
Author: 
King, Stephen
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Luke Ellis is an especially bright boy living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He's so smart, that he is poised to attend a prestigious University in the Massachusetts area at the tender age of 12. Then in the course of one night, his life completely changes. His parents are murdered and he is kidnapped and taken to a place known as the Institute in the remote woods of Maine. He wakes up in a room that looks like exactly his but is not. He soon meets other kids who are both younger and older than him in a building called "the front half". These are kids with special talents such as telekinesis or telepathy,or TK or TP for short. Their talents are strengthened, using a series of shots and painful experiments, administered by abusive caretakers. Those who graduate to the "back half" never return, as their combined talents are used to commit psychic assassinations of political figures and others who are in power. Unfortunately, the combined group think strips the young residents of all their faculties. As victims disappear, Luke becomes more desperate to find a way out.

With the recent state of the world, I didn't think I could bear a Stephen King book, but found myself pleasantly surprised and distracted. King not only writes for entertainment, he often wants to impart a deeper message. A must read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Susi W.

Book Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Dog Days
Author: 
Kinney, Jeff
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Dog Days is one of the 14 books in Jeff Kenny's Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series. Dog Days is about Greg Heffley, the main protagonist, having his summer plans ruined when his parents leave him home with his mean older brother for the summer. The humor in this book is relatable and funny. I would recommend this book for a young audience.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rayn
Genres: 

Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book has a lot of problems between characters. Best friends, billionaire friend, and parents all have a part in the story more than you can think. Aza Holmes, the protagonist, knows shes crazy, but this is the world she lives in. A billionaire goes missing, and Aza reunites with her old friend. The issues between the family of the billionaire is heart breaking. In the end there is a happy ending. The story is a great mystery.

Reviewer's Name: 
Jaime

Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow
Author: 
Towles, Amor
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

A Bolshevik tribunal puts Count Alexander Rostov under lifelong house arrest at The Hotel Metropol, a real luxury establishment located near the Kremlin, at the start of the Soviet Union. This man, who has never worked a day in his life, uses his considerable charm to carve out an existence while bearing witness to some very tumultuous decades. The people he meets, loves and opposes over the next 30 years help the nobleman determine a purpose in life under reduced circumstances. His evolution over the decades and his charm make the Count, who could have been insufferable in a different situation, someone many would befriend. This beautifully written second novel by the author of The Rules of Civility provides an interesting perspective on Soviet history, what it means to be a family and the reasons why to keep on living, even in a gilded prison.

Reviewer's Name: 
Joe P.

Book Review: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Author: 
Jonasson, Jonas
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This charmer was a runaway international bestseller and it is easy to see why. The main character, Allan Karlsson, is memorable even as his stories from his wanderings around the world get more and more far-fetched. Karlsson has always done what he wanted and skipping his 100th birthday party at the start is the least surprising thing when looking back upon this Swedish novel. I read this for a book group (book club set available through PPLD) and one participant described Karlsson as Forest Gump with a dangerous affinity for vodka and explosives. This "intelligent, very stupid novel" as the author described it, is enjoyable if a tad long.

Reviewer's Name: 
Joe P.

Book Review: The Flatshare

Book Review: The Flatshare
Author: 
O'Leary, Beth
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I don't usually rate chick lit higher than 3 stars as it's my guilty pleasure, but this book was very well written, had an engaging plot, likable characters, and addressed a serious topic without seeming heavy handed. I recommend it as a quick and satisfying read.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Great Alone

The Great Alone
Author: 
Hannah, Kristin
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Author Kristin Hannah has told interviewers that she scrapped an early version of The Great Alone that she wrote shortly after her career-making breakout bestseller, The Nightingale. Readers will be happy she started over because what the author delivered in 2017 was a compelling page-turner featuring Leni Albright. The strong-willed young woman was 13 when her father, a former Vietnam War POW struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, moved her and her mother to the remote wilds of 1970s Alaska after years of wandering. Things are good when the weather is warm and sunny but then the long, frigid nights of winter descend on a fractured family not quite ready for those hardships. Leni grows up over the course of the novel, forged by the destructive nature of her parents' relationship, abuse, young love and the coming-of-age struggle to find a place where she belongs. Her resilience will be tested by her family and equally beautiful and dangerous Alaska, which takes its toll on those she loves in this award-winning novel (2018 Goodreads Choice Awards, Best Historical Fiction).

Reviewer's Name: 
Joe P.

Book Review: The Power of Habit

Book Cover
Author: 
Duhigg, Charles
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg is a great read if you are interested in changing your habits or changing your company's habits for the better. Duhigg guides the reader through how habits work in life and in business. What makes "The Power of Habit" a good read, though, is Duhigg's remarkable talent for storytelling. The narratives Duhigg presents are both informative and heartfelt. The stories are what make this book a real page turner, but when coupled with Duhigg's insights about habits, the book is both enlightening and informative.

Reviewer's Name: 
Melina D.

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