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Recent Book Reviews

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The Arrangement

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Balogh, Mary(2013)Recently Added Review
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The Arrangement

Viscount Darleigh is at his wits end with his mother and sisters. They have made it their mission to find him a wife. To escape their endless matchmaking, Darleigh runs away to his childhood home. But a single man is possession of a title is what every mom dreams of for their daughters, so even in the county Darleigh isn’t safe. When one you women, Sophia, places herself in a position to help him escape a marriage trap, she is kicked out of her home. Darleigh takes it upon himself to marry her. Will this marriage of convenience led to lasting love?

Reviewed by Angela A., Cornelius Branch

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Takedown Twenty

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Evanovich, Janet(2013)Recently Added Review
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Takedown Twenty

It’s just another day in the burg for Stephanie. The skip that she is going after is “Uncle Sonny” a mobster who just happens to be part of Morelli’s family. Grandma Bella doesn’t take kindly to Stephanie’s quest to bring him in. When Grandma Bella is mad; the “evil eye” isn’t far behind. To make matters worse, Ranger has asked Stephanie to help out on a case where someone is targeting older women. This can only mean that Grandma Mazur is going to help. As Stephanie discovers the clues between the deceased women, Grandma Mazur goes missing. Will Stephanie be able to save her Grandma and bring in the skip?

Reviewed by Angela A., Cornelius Branch

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Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

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Hill, Jenna Miscavige(2013)Recently Added Review
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Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

Religious indoctrination impacts generations. In her biography, Beyond Belief, Jenna Miscavige Hill details her upbringing in a Scientologist family, where, like her mother, she was groomed from childhood to be a high level Sea Org administrator. Throughout most of her narration, Hill remains very sympathetic to Scientology, believing that its goal was indeed to help mankind. What Hill could never reconcile, though, was how unaccommodating the Church was to families where husbands, wives, and children lived apart for years, for an elusive greater good. Despite enduring years of deprivation and brainwashing, promotion and punishment, Hill clung to her desire to belong, first to the Church, but ultimately to her husband.

Reviewed by Lydia T., Main Library

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The Case of the Team Spirit

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Allison, John(2013)Recently Added Review
The Case of the Team Spirit

Homework, new clothes, parents, bullies, teachers, friends, chocolate, and messing around; really, there’s no time to figure out a curse! Of course, it might be a coincidence, but the boys think someone is sabotaging the local football club and want to investigate. Meanwhile, publishing a zine and helping old Mrs. Biscuits is keeping the girls busy. First published online in the British webcomic, “Bad Machinery,” The Case of the Team Spirit has the boys fighting the girls to solve the case first . . . or maybe everyone is busy spying on each other and being a bit snarky. Whatever the case may be, it’s brilliant fun.

Reviewed by Amanda D., University City Regional

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Liv, Forever

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Talkington, Amy(2014)Recently Added Review
Liv, Forever
Young Adult

Liv has managed to get an art scholarship to the best private school in the country. She takes the opportunity to escape the foster system; however, not long after she arrives at school she is murdered. The book follows Liv as her friend Gabe, who can see ghosts, helps her try to solve her murder and connect with her first love. On her journey, Liv discovers she is not the only girl who died mysteriously at the school. Throughout the book you know something is amiss, but you can only find a few pieces of the puzzle at a time. The book is highly entertaining, and you will enjoy following Liv on her journey to find out what really happened to her and other girls.

Reviewed by DeShea J., West Boulevard Branch

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The Wisdom of Hair

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Boykin, Kim(2013)Recently Added Review
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The Wisdom of Hair

It’s 1983 in the mountains of SC and Zora May Adams has just turned 19. Disgusted with her boozy, obsessed-with-Judy-Garland mother and mom’s loser boyfriends, Zora, aided by a sympathetic high school teacher, escapes to a beauty school opportunity in coastal SC where she blossoms. Beauty school pal Sara Jane Farquhar is a phenom stylist, but has no aptitude for test-taking. Zora tutors Sara and finds herself “adopted” by the well-off Farquhar family. Zora is smitten with her landlord, a handsome widower college instructor who drowns his sorrows in daily alcohol binges. She wants to rescue him - but at what cost? Charlotte resident Boykin’s coming-of-age tale showcases the strength of friendship and how appearance can hide reality.

Reviewed by Susanne W., Steele Creek Branch

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Better Off Friends

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Eulberg, Elizabeth(2014)Recently Added Review
Better Off Friends
Young Adult

Levi and Macallan became friends instantly the first day of 7th grade when they had lunch and bonded over a fictional British TV show called Buggy and Floyd. Levi had just moved from Los Angeles to Wisconsin. Macallan looked forward to school starting as a reprieve from her grief over her mom’s death. She goes to Levi’s house after school and spends time with his mom. Levi and Macallan become best friends which makes dating difficult. Each chapter begins with banter between Levi and Macallan as they look back at their friendship in middle school and high school. They alternate telling the story. Check out this funny fast-paced read to see if it is possible for them to be “just friends.”

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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The Lonely Hearts Club

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Eulberg, Elizabeth(2010)Recently Added Review
The Lonely Hearts Club
Young Adult

Penny, a junior at McKinley High, is done with boys, except the Beatles. She decides she will start The Lonely Hearts Club, for girls who want a break from dating. Morgan, Tracy, and Diane agree to join. They meet weekly and go to homecoming together. The group becomes popular. Parents complain to the principal because the boys are frustrated and he wants to ban the group. What happens when Penny is interested in Ryan? Can rules be broken? The book is divided into four parts and each starts with a quote from a Beatles’ song. Her parents are obsessed with the Beatles and named her, and her sisters, Rita and Lucy, after their songs. Eulberg’s debut novel provides a fresh take on how to cope with heartbreak.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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Paris Letters

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Macleod, Janice(2014)Recently Added Review
Paris Letters

Janice Macleod was miserable working as a copywriter in L.A. She drastically cuts her spending and within a year she has enough money saved to quit her job and go to Europe for a few months. On her first stop in Paris she meets Christophe, even though she doesn’t speak French and he doesn’t speak English, they have a whirlwind romance. Macleod thinks this may just be a fling, so she continues on with her other travel plans in Europe. But when Christophe calls and asks her to come back to Paris “to see,” she decides to come back and the rest is history. Macleod’s story of going from corporate drone to living as an artist in Paris is an inspiring read!

Reviewed by Jessica B., Mint Hill Branch

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No Such Thing As Dragons

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Reeve, Phillip(2009)Recently Added Review
No Such Thing As Dragons
Young Adult

Set in Germany in the Middle Ages, this is a heroic adventure. Ansel, a mute boy about 7 years old, is sold to a not-so-brave knight named Brock as his helper. Brock goes from town to town, selling protection from dragons, which he doesn`t believe exist. They get to a town in the mountains where the leader sends Brock, Ansel and a friar into the mountains above the town to fight their dragon. Else, a young girl from the mountains, had been taken up there before they arrived to act as a sacrifice to the real dragon. When they meet the dragon, they will all have to battle both it and their fears. They learn about bravery and survival. It`s A LOT of fun.

Reviewed by Thea J., South County Regional

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