Reviews

Want to know what our librarians and staff are reading? Browse through a variety of reviews added to our catalog from a variety of genres.

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  • Pet by Emezi, Akwaeke,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Shelley R on Sep 28, 2021

    Tagged: African American Fiction LGBTQ Teens

    Jam is a teenage girl who lives in Lucille, a post-revolutionary town where social justice driven "angels" have defeated the "monsters" of our time and created a town where girls like Jam can live freely as themselves in safety and prosperity. Jam, who is autistic, did not speak as a baby, and the adults in Lucille accepted her as she is and taught her sign language. When she said at three-year-old that she was a girl, not a boy, the adults in Lucille accepted her as she is and, when she approached puberty, gave her free choice over which kind of puberty she wanted to go through. Life in Lucille is good, although all of the adults are cagey about how they got there. They don't talk about the things the "monsters" used to do, or what the "angels," many of whom are still alive, had to do to win the civil war. One day, a terrifying monster named Pet emerges from one of Jam's mother's paintings, and, communicating telepathically, tells Jam that it is hunting a "real monster" living in Lucille.The adults insist Pet must be wrong, that there are no more monsters in Lucille; but Pet tells Jam the monster lives in the home of her best friend, Remembrance; so Jam reluctantly, secretly, teams up with Pet to hunt down the monster, whoever it is.
    Pet is not a dystopia novel. It is a novel about the trauma that lingers even when something resembling utopia has been achieved. Pet is about what happens when trauma is allowed to fester, and goes unaddressed. It's a novel about healing. It shows us a better world, and reminds us that nothing can truly be perfect either. I am a grown adult and I cried when I read this book. Personally, my new favorite book. Read Pet.

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  • Pet by Emezi, Akwaeke,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Shelley R on Sep 28, 2021

    Tagged: African American Fiction LGBTQ Teens

    Jam is a teenage girl who lives in Lucille, a post-revolutionary town where social justice driven "angels" have defeated the "monsters" of our time and created a town where girls like Jam can live freely as themselves in safety and prosperity. Jam, who is autistic, did not speak as a baby, and the adults in Lucille accepted her as she is and taught her sign language. When she said at three-year-old that she was a girl, not a boy, the adults in Lucille accepted her as she is and, when she approached puberty, gave her free choice over which kind of puberty she wanted to go through. Life in Lucille is good, although all of the adults are cagey about how they got there. They don't talk about the things the "monsters" used to do, or what the "angels," many of whom are still alive, had to do to win the civil war. One day, a terrifying monster named Pet emerges from one of Jam's mother's paintings, and, communicating telepathically, tells Jam that it is hunting a "real monster" living in Lucille.The adults insist Pet must be wrong, that there are no more monsters in Lucille; but Pet tells Jam the monster lives in the home of her best friend, Remembrance; so Jam reluctantly, secretly, teams up with Pet to hunt down the monster, whoever it is.
    Pet is not a dystopia novel. It is a novel about the trauma that lingers even when something resembling utopia has been achieved. Pet is about what happens when trauma is allowed to fester, and goes unaddressed. It's a novel about healing. It shows us a better world, and reminds us that nothing can truly be perfect either. I am a grown adult and I cried when I read this book. Personally, my new favorite book. Read Pet.

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  • Pet by Emezi, Akwaeke.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Shelley R on Sep 28, 2021

    Tagged: Fiction LGBTQ Teens

    Jam is a teenage girl who lives in Lucille, a post-revolutionary town where social justice driven "angels" have defeated the "monsters" of our time and created a town where girls like Jam can live freely as themselves in safety and prosperity. Jam, who is autistic, did not speak as a baby, and the adults in Lucille accepted her as she is and taught her sign language. When she said at three-year-old that she was a girl, not a boy, the adults in Lucille accepted her as she is and, when she approached puberty, gave her free choice over which kind of puberty she wanted to go through. Life in Lucille is good, although all of the adults are cagey about how they got there. They don't talk about the things the "monsters" used to do, or what the "angels," many of whom are still alive, had to do to win the civil war. One day, a terrifying monster named Pet emerges from one of Jam's mother's paintings, and, communicating telepathically, tells Jam that it is hunting a "real monster" living in Lucille.The adults insist Pet must be wrong, that there are no more monsters in Lucille; but Pet tells Jam the monster lives in the home of her best friend, Remembrance; so Jam reluctantly, secretly, teams up with Pet to hunt down the monster, whoever it is.
    Pet is not a dystopia novel. It is a novel about the trauma that lingers even when something resembling utopia has been achieved. Pet is about what happens when trauma is allowed to fester, and goes unaddressed. It's a novel about healing. It shows us a better world, and reminds us that nothing can truly be perfect either. I am a grown adult and I cried when I read this book. Personally, my new favorite book. Read Pet.

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  • Finna by Cipri, Nino,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Shelley R on Sep 28, 2021

    Tagged: Fiction LGBTQ

    Ava and Jules both work at LitenVärld, a Swedish furniture store akin to IKEA, and they just had a very messy break-up. Ava's plans to avoid Jules at work are thwarted when a wormhole opens up to another LitenVärld in a parallel universe and swallows up Ursula Nouri, the kindly grandmother of a customer. Apparently, wormholes open up in LitenVärld all the time, due to their "unique showroom layouts." Store associates are required to enter the wormholes to retrieve lost customers, chosen by reverse seniority. They get a Pasta and Friends gift card if they accept the mission, and fired if they don't. After watching a cheesy training video from the 80s, Ava and Jules are sent out into the wormhole to find Ursula Nouri, equipped with their Pasta and Friends gift cards and a tracking device called a FINNA that will point them to Ursula Nouri's whereabouts, or if not her, a "suitable replacement" so that customers won't learn the truth. LitenVärld's insurance won't cover "acts of god." Along the way, Ava and Jules work through the conflicts that lead to their break-up and try to patch things up enough to be friends again.

    Full of skin-crawling creepy imagery, touching personal moments, flawed yet lovable and relatable characters, hillarious writing, and a bit of biting commentary on the retail industry; FINNA is a short and sweet novella you'll find yourself recommending to all of your friends. If you like Ursula K. LeGuin's short stories, you will love FINNA. If you've ever had a messy queer break-up where you still care about each other but can't seem to stop hurting each other: you will find FINNA painfully relatable and perhaps incredibly cathartic and healing.

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  • Finna by Cipri, Nino,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Shelley R on Sep 28, 2021

    Tagged: Fiction LGBTQ

    Ava and Jules both work at LitenVärld, a Swedish furniture store akin to IKEA, and they just had a very messy break-up. Ava's plans to avoid Jules at work are thwarted when a wormhole opens up to another LitenVärld in a parallel universe and swallows up Ursula Nouri, the kindly grandmother of a customer. Apparently, wormholes open up in LitenVärld all the time, due to their "unique showroom layouts." Store associates are required to enter the wormholes to retrieve lost customers, chosen by reverse seniority. They get a Pasta and Friends gift card if they accept the mission, and fired if they don't. After watching a cheesy training video from the 80s, Ava and Jules are sent out into the wormhole to find Ursula Nouri, equipped with their Pasta and Friends gift cards and a tracking device called a FINNA that will point them to Ursula Nouri's whereabouts, or if not her, a "suitable replacement" so that customers won't learn the truth. LitenVärld's insurance won't cover "acts of god." Along the way, Ava and Jules work through the conflicts that lead to their break-up and try to patch things up enough to be friends again.

    Full of skin-crawling creepy imagery, touching personal moments, flawed yet lovable and relatable characters, hillarious writing, and a bit of biting commentary on the retail industry; FINNA is a short and sweet novella you'll find yourself recommending to all of your friends. If you like Ursula K. LeGuin's short stories, you will love FINNA. If you've ever had a messy queer break-up where you still care about each other but can't seem to stop hurting each other: you will find FINNA painfully relatable and perhaps incredibly cathartic and healing.

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  • Redwood and Ponytail by Holt, K. A.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Fiction LGBTQ

    This was a beautifully-written novel in verse. I loved seeing both Tam and Kate's points of view. It was funny, realistic, sad, and uplifting all at once. I have a feeling this book will be one of those "books at the right time" for a lot of kids struggling to understand who they are and what they feel. As it says in the end, there is no such thing as normal and love is love is love is love.

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  • More to the story by Khan, Hena.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Family Fiction

    This book was so good. It was funny, emotional, and well-written. It was a realistic look at family dynamics and sisters. We see how a family comes together in the good times and the bad.

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  • Stargazing by Wang, Jen,
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Comics and Graphic Novels Fiction

    I really enjoyed this book. It's a great story about friendship and being true to who you are. I thought it was interesting the way Jen Wang handled what was actually happening with Moon. It was realistic and interesting. I would recommend this to children ages 9-12 who like character-driven graphic novels.

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  • Sincerely, Harriet by Searle, Sarah Winifred.
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Comics and Graphic Novels Fiction

    I liked the artwork and the story is fine but I didn't love it. The drama is kind of boring and underdeveloped. I would have liked to see more of Harriet's past in Indiana. I wanted more character development so I could sympathize more with Harriet and not be so annoyed with her lying. If the author writes another book about Harriet i would read it; it might be interesting to see how she deals with a new school and making friends.

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  • The phantom hour by Shepherd, Kat.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Fiction

    I really enjoyed this book! I loved the first book in this series and this one is just as well-written and creepy! I like the characters and their diversity. I would hand this book to anyone who loves a spooky story with good character development.

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  • The owls have come to take us away by Smith, Ronald L.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Fiction

    This book was really good! It was engrossing to the point it was hard to stop reading it. It's a great mixture of typical middle grade books (friends, crushes, family problems) and science fiction. It was well-written and believable.

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  • Louisiana's way home by DiCamillo, Kate,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Family Fiction Humor

    Wow, Kate DiCamillo does it again! This book had me laughing and crying in equal measure. The way she paints Louisiana’s story is beautiful, funny, heartwarming, and emotional. I absolutely loved Raymie Nightingale so I was looking forward to revisiting with a beloved character, Louisiana. Getting to read her journey was amazing. You don’t have to read Raymie’s story first but I think it adds something to this story if you do. I also must say that I lived all three generations of Burke Allens!

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  • The bigfoot files by Eagar, Lindsay,
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Fiction Humor

    What does it take to believe in the impossible? For Miranda it's proof; scientific proof and nothing else. When you have a cryptozoologist as a mother, it's hard to keep your life orderly. Miranda is forced to join her mother, Kat, on trips all over the country trying to find evidence of Bigfoot, fairies, and other creatures most don't believe exist. Miranda is a worrier, a perfectionist, and an ex-believer. She agrees to one last Bigfoot expedition, with the plan to finally make her mother admit that there is no such thing. This book had a lot of ups and downs, with a realistic portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship. There was some magical realism throughout the book as well. The character descriptions are pretty basic (hair color, height). I would hand this to anyone who is looking for a middle grade novel about searching for answers and embracing the unknown.

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  • Kiss Number 8. by Venable, Colleen A. F.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Comics and Graphic Novels Fiction LGBTQ Teens Romance

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked the story and the artwork. Recommended for 14+. It is a great story about figuring out who you are and being true to yourself. Amanda had to deal with family secrets, crushes, and accepting who sh is. It ends on a good note but not everything works out perfectly.

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  • Maya and the robot by Ewing, Eve L.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Mary W on Sep 13, 2021

    Tagged: Children Fiction Humor Science Technology

    What a great book! It was well-written, funny, and heart-warming. It dealt with a few different subjects but didn't feel bogged down by them. Those subjects include science, friends, school, and gun violence. I really hope we get to see more of Maya, her friends, and Ralph!

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  • JFK : the last dissenting witness by Sloan, Bill,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert S on Aug 23, 2021

    Tagged: Biography and Autobiography Government Information Politics Social Science History Romance

    An outstanding and gripping account from an eye witness to the assassination of President Kennedy. Mrs. Jean Hill is listed as the co-author, but is really the author and subject of the book. Hill and Sloan detail how Hill happened to witness the assassination mere feet from the President and how the government and others tried to silence her when she spoke about what she saw: Jack Ruby running toward a shooter on the grassy knoll. Many witnesses suddenly died. The Warren Commission changed and omitted her comments. Hill escaped a number of attempts on her life. An exciting and depressing conspiracy book, probably the most important of its genre.

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  • Held Up
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Joyce L on Aug 12, 2021

    Tagged: African American Humor Movies & Television

    Comedy. Drama. Adventure. Humor. Predictable. Romance.

    Nia Long and Jamie Foxx were funny together. The film was funny and had a few laugh out loud moments. The pace of the movie was pretty good which kept it from being too boring for the 90 minutes that it offered. I enjoy watching Jamie Foxx acting..his face expressions along are funny. I don't think it was one Nia's or Jamie's best film, but, it is worth a watch if you have time. The language was not overwhelming which was a plus. Alot, of the other actors were new comers. The humor is pretty good but predicatable and a little dull. A average comedy. I would recommend it to Jamie Foxx fans.

     

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  • Just Getting Started
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Joyce L on Aug 12, 2021

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Action. Comedy. Romance. Drama. Great Actors. Adult Themes.

    For a night when you just want to sit back and watch some familiar faces and have a few laugh.  This movie had action, comedy and a battling romance over a girl. Even though it was a adult film the language was bearable. Tommy Lee Curtis and Morgan Freeman were great together. Rene Russo is charming as usual. I don't think it was the greatest film with these actors...but it was fun to watch.

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  • Blue Crush
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Joyce L on Aug 12, 2021

    Tagged: Movies & Television Sports & Recreation Romance

    ?Action. Adventure. Romance. Teen Movie. Girl-Flick. Heart-warming. Sports Competition. Surfing. Feel-Good Movie. 

     

    If you love surfing , the beach and competition this movie is for you.  Loaded with fast pace surfing and adventure on the high seas.  The romance was minimal and the action was plentiful. You'll find yourself cheering with the winners and booing at the haters. This film was a good watch. There was never a dull moment. The actors and actresses were attractive and in good physical shape. I'd recommend this movie  for teens.   Especially girls. 

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  • Secondhand Lions
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Joyce L on Aug 6, 2021

    Tagged: Children Family Humor Movies & Television Teens

    Comedy. Adventure.  Heart-warming. Great Cast. Family Movie. 

    What to do when your mom leaves you with your two aging great-uncles that you never met... not to mention that they live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Well, basically, you strap on your overall and learn some life lesson. This movie is a feel good movie symbolizing the joys of being young to the process of growing old happily and gracefully.  I have to admit that at first I couldn't understand where the title came from, but, after watching the film I found the title fitting. The movie was sort of slow- paced but it was enjoyable. It featured some very good actors. Haley Joel Osment did an awesome job as the young teen working alongside veteran actors Michael Caine and Robert Duval.

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