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Recent Book Reviews

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The Book of Speculation

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Swyler, Erika(2015)Recently Added Review
The Book of Speculation

Simon Watson is a librarian who lives in his family’s old home on the Long Island Sound. His parents are dead and his sister is working in a traveling carnival. One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an old bookseller, and, much to his amazement, it has his grandmother’s name inscribed inside. It seems to be a book about his female ancestors who all used to be circus mermaids who died on July 24th. Could this just be a coincidence since his mother drowned on this day when he was a child? Simon must work through his personal troubles to understand his history and meaning of the mysterious book. This is a book about family history, carnivals, and books. It will have you enthralled within the first chapter.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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Wytches, Vol. 1

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Snyder, Scott(2015)Recently Added Review
Wytches, Vol. 1

The Rooks family have just moved to Litchfield, New Hampshire to escape a horrible tragedy involving their young daughter Sailor and a relentless bully. Soon, Sailor starts to notice something horrifying in the woods; some dark and unknown. It seems that the wytches are coming for those that are “pledged,” or those up for sacrifice to the wytches. The wytches are horrible creatures that live underground and they enjoy eating children. If you like dark horror stories, this is a great graphic novel to read. It has all your classic horror elements: a house in the woods, weird townspeople, monsters, and lots of frantic emotions. The images in the graphic novel are very eye pleasing and well done; it really brings the dark atmosphere to the reader.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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Bitter Greens

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Forsyth, Kate(2014)Recently Added Review
Bitter Greens

Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from Louis XIV’s court due to scandalous behavior. She is sent to live with a nun, Soeur Seraphina, who tells her the story of Margherita. Margherita is the daughter of a man who stole from the garden of a powerful courtesan. After being caught, he is threatened with losing his hands, unless he gives his beautiful daughter away. As Soeur Seraphina tells her story, we learn more about Margherita’s life and her time living in a locked up tower. Kate Forsyth weaves together historical fiction with the well-known story of Rapunzel to bring together a gut-wrenching tale of love, loss, and magic. This book has won the 2015 Best Historical Fiction book awarded by the American Library Association.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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The Wild Girl

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Forsyth, Kate(2015)Recently Added Review
The Wild Girl

Hessen-Cassel, a German kingdom, is one of the first to fall to Napoleon Bonaparte during his escapades to dominate Europe. In this kingdom, Dortchen Wild has lived next door to Wilhelm Grimm her whole life, and she has loved him just as long. Grimm and his brothers and sister are poor, but on the verge of something amazing with the fairy tale book they are working to make. To do this, Wilhelm begins to listen to stories from various women, including Dortchen. Dortchen shares familiar stories such as, The Frog King, Six Swans, and Hansel and Gretel. Will Dortchen ever get her fairy tale ending? This is a perfect read for fans of historical fiction and fairy tales. It reads much like Kate Forsyth’s book, Bitter Greens.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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Deadly Election, a Flavia Albia mystery

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Davis, Lindsey(2015)Recently Added Review
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Deadly Election, a Flavia Albia mystery

Flavia Albia is by all accounts a true outsider. She is a woman in a man’s profession (private informer). She is a former street urchin from a backwater province (Britannia) now working in the imperial capital of Rome. However she is the adopted daughter of the master himself, Marcus Didius Falco, now sensibly retired, so she has picked up some skills from him as well as having her own special tricks due to her gender and street survival skills. These will be helpful as she discovers a strongbox for sale in her family’s auction business has not one but twice produced a corpse. After twenty adventures with Falco, Lindsey Davis has given us a worthy successor with Falvia Albia in this her third outing

Reviewed by John C., Main Library

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Dodger

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Pratchett, Terry(2012)Recently Added Review
Dodger
Young Adult

Dodger is a remarkable teen living in Victorian London. He’s not “nobby” (his term for “posh”), but he does have a good life: a job (exploring the sewers of London looking for found coins), a roof over his head (an attic room in the slums), and a dog (a mutt of questionable origin and odor). One evening while out working, he witnesses and then stops a terrible crime against a young lady. Suddenly, he finds himself rising through London society, having all new adventures, and making new friends. You’ll cheer for Dodger and laugh out loud at some of his society faux pas in this great Oliver Twist read-alike.

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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I Love You More: a novel

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Murphy, Jennifer(2014)Recently Added Review
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I Love You More: a novel

A holiday trip for 11-year-old Picasso Lane and her parents is a shocking life-changer. Her father, Oliver, never returns home as he is mysteriously shot dead leaving wife, Diana and young Picasso to begin new lives. Detective Kyle Kennedy and his partner investigate the death and suspect murder but need patience to piece together a case. Meanwhile, the detectives discover that Oliver is also married to two other women. Secretly, Diana knows about them, and secretly Picasso does too. The three women had become acquaintances and allies when concluding they could kill their husband in a flawless crime. As one says over lunch, “We’re all smart women. We could pull it off.” This engrossing, well-plotted, first novel expertly uses multiple narrations to tell its story.

Reviewed by Lawrence T., South County Regional

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Emmy & Oliver

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Benway, Robin(2015)Recently Added Review
Emmy & Oliver
Young Adult

Emmy has spent the last few years sneaking out from under her parents’ strict rules. They would never let her stay out late or go surfing by herself - especially not after her best friend Oliver’s disappearance. So when Oliver is found and brought back safe, Emmy hopes they can pick up right back where they left off. It’s not going to be easy; Oliver is struggling with adjusting to a family he barely knows anymore. But Emmy and Oliver have always shared a special bond with each other - a bond they hope will overcome everything. Benway’s novel is more than teen romance: it’s an exploration of what happens after the so-called happy ending, and how best friends never really disappear.

Reviewed by Kaitlyn M., Morrison Regional

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The Precipice

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Doiron, Paul(2015)Recently Added Review
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The Precipice

Maine Game Warden, Mike Bowditch, has been called in from his regular post to help find two women hikers. The women went missing on the stretch of the Appalachian Trail called the Hundred Mile Wilderness. When the search turns tragic, the focus of the investigation changes to determining the cause of death. While most want to write this off as a predatory coyote attack, Bowditch’s friend, wildlife biologist Stacey Stevens, thinks it more sinister predator may be the cause of the two hikers’ deaths. Once again in this sixth Mike Bowditch outing, Paul Doiron takes the reader into Maine Wilderness beautiful, mysterious and deadly.

Reviewed by John C., Main Library

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Under a War-Torn Sky

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Elliott, L.M.(2001)Recently Added Review
Under a War-Torn Sky
Young Adult

Under a War-Torn Sky is an action-packed World War II adventure novel. The main character, Henry, is an American bomber pilot who`s shot down over Switzerland. He parachutes to relative safety and makes it to a Red Cross hospital. After a short recovery there, he finds himself evading Germans as he moves on foot across Switzerland, into France, and toward Spain. Along the way, he sees the best and the worst in people. No matter how worried you are about Henry’s safety (and you probably will worry a few times!), you will admire his perseverance and positive attitude. This historical fiction novel reads like narrative nonfiction; it`s a sure hit with WWII history fans!

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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