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Recent Book Reviews

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Normal: A Novel

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Cameron, Graeme(2015)Recently Added Review
Normal: A Novel

He is just like everyone else. He lives in a house, he shops for groceries, he watches TV. The only difference is, he has a secret basement below his garage, stocked with a cage and a victim. He does not see it as anything but being normal because this is how he lives his life; he’s been doing it for years. Suddenly, something happens--he meets a girl and he decides he does not need to hunt women anymore. Then, the police start coming for him. This book is full of action and not your average psychological thriller. If you are a fan of Dexter, the show and book series, you will enjoy this read. You will be disturbed that you are laughing at a serial killer’s dark humor.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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Rebel Queen: A Novel

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Moran, Michelle(2015)Recently Added Review
Rebel Queen: A Novel

During the 1850s, the British Empire is trying to takeover India because it is not just one kingdom, but many, making it an easy conquest. In the Kingdom of Jhansi, Sita is a guard in Queen Lakshmi’s all-female army, and is a close confident of her as well. When the British arrive in Jhansi, tensions rise and Queen Lakshmi is forced to protect her kingdom in battle with the help of Sita and her armies. Neither Queen Lakshmi, nor the British, will stop until one of them has conquered the other. Queen Lakshmi refuses to surrender the kingdom she loves. If you are a fan of historical fiction and Michelle Moran’s other books, you will enjoy this read.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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A Lifetime of Fiction: The 500 Most Recommended Reads for Ages 2 to 102

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Martin, William Patrick(2014)Recently Added Review
A Lifetime of Fiction: The 500 Most Recommended Reads for Ages 2 to 102

A Lifetime of Fiction consists of five chapters each representing an age group, each with one hundred recommended reads. The author explains in the introduction that he used a process wherein he combed through dozens of “best of” lists and compiled the results. It’s all very fair and transparent. Then at the end of the book, the author re-lists the featured books according to subject matter, and provides interviews with many of the featured authors. There is a good mix of contemporary and classic books, and reading the Early Reader and Middle Grades lists may make you want to re-read some of your favorites from your childhood!

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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A Cold Legacy

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Shepherd, Megan(1/27/15)Recently Added Review
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A Cold Legacy
Young Adult

Just as with the first two books in this series, A Cold Legacy leans heavily on a classic horror story to create a chilling tale. This time, it`s Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Even though this novel is based on a different classic than Her Dark Curiosity, the characters remain the same. The second book closed with a very narrow escape for Juliet, Montgomery, Edward, Lucy, and Balthazar. A Cold Legacy opens on the same scene with the characters still on the run. They have received directions from Elizabeth to reach her secluded manor on the moor. She revealed to the group (at the end of the second book) that her family`s last name used to be Frankenstein...what will await them at the manor?

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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The Crossover

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Alexander, Kwame(2014)Recently Added Review
The Crossover
Young Adult

Josh Bell, aka Filthy McNasty, is twelve years old and the star of his middle school basketball team. He loves to rap, listen to Lil Wayne, and play basketball. He is proud of his dread-locked hair and of his basketball skills. Josh tells his story about growing up off and on the court, with his mom, who is the school principal, and his dad, who is a retired European basketball legend. His twin brother, Jordan, is amazing at basketball too, but gets a little side-tracked when he gets his first girlfriend. Josh experiences first crushes, family problems, jealousy, and everything else we go through when we are in middle school. This is a very quick, but entertaining read; perfect for boys, reluctant readers, and sports fans alike.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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My Sunshine Away

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Walsh, M. O.(2015)Recently Added Review
My Sunshine Away

Everything changed the summer of 1989 in Baton Rouge when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson was the victim of a horrible crime. Once a track star, and loved by all of the boys, she slowly spirals into a darkness that will change her forever. Our narrator is fourteen at the time and desperately in love with Lindy. He tells the story of that fateful summer when there were four suspects in the crime, including himself. This book is more than a mystery, it’s a story about a boy simply trying to understand what happened to the girl he loved. M.O. Walsh paints an amazing picture of Baton Rouge--you can feel the heat of the southern summer air as you read. If you liked the storytelling in The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, you will enjoy this book.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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The Mother of All Booklists: The 500 Most Recommended Reads for Ages 3 to 103

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Martin, William Patrick(2015)Recently Added Review
The Mother of All Booklists: The 500 Most Recommended Reads for Ages 3 to 103

At first glance, this book is a great resource for nonfiction reading recommendations; however, it turned out to be much more! The author opens by telling the reader how he came to this particular list, relying on a compilation of many different “best of” and book award lists. The first five chapters are 100 books each for 5 different age groups: preschool, early reader, middle grades, young adult, and adult. Each book has a cover image, title, author name, illustrator name (if applicable), and a short synopsis. Following this, there`s a list of the featured books in alphabetical order by authors` last names. Finally, the author lists all the books again, this time grouped by subject.

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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Green Eye Bandit 2

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Nichols, Ni'kia(2013)Recently Added Review
Green Eye Bandit 2

Has anyone close to you ever been murdered? The primary character is New Jersey born Tina Martin. As a child she suffered all forms of abuse and resorted to thievery as a means of survival, and she is devastated after the brutal killing of a loved one. She creates a black list in her head and begins to “off” the people on that list. The author’s simplicity of word choice, use of sexual references, and raw language will thrust this page-turner to the top of the list for anyone who desires both a captivating and an easy read.

Reviewed by Lateefah T., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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The Heart Has Its Reasons

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Duenas, Maria(2014)Recently Added Review
The Heart Has Its Reasons

When her husband leaves her for another woman, Blanca Perea flees her predictable life in Madrid to move to California. A linguistics professor, she accepts a scholarship to catalog the legacy of a Spanish professor who also fled Spain—albeit during the Spanish Civil War. Initially, Blanca is only interested in putting space between herself and her former life but as time progresses, she finds herself immersed in his life and in his research which, despite a gap of thirty years, still has current resonance. Blanca unwittingly finds herself in a race to find clues among his research that could save a beloved part of the university’s campus. The novel features plenty of history and romance and will appeal to fans of both genres.

Reviewed by Lacey S., Mountain Island Branch

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The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

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Filipacchi, Amanda(2015)Recently Added Review
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The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

The center of a close-knit group of artistic friends living in New York City, beautiful Barb struggles under the weight of her own beauty. Eager to find a man who can love her despite her stunning looks and not because of them, she wears a disfiguring disguise in public and enjoys repelling shallow men with her costume. At the same time, her best friend Lily, a supremely talented yet conventionally unattractive pianist, is struggling to secure the affection of her love interest, who is incapable of seeing past her lackluster appearance. To complicate matters further, there is a murderer lurking in their midst. A thought-provoking novel with elements of fantasy and mystery, this unique novel is charming and will also make you laugh.

Reviewed by Lacey S., Mountain Island Branch

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