Adult Book Reviews

To Kill a Mockingbird
Lee, Harper
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is an essential piece of literature. It tells a story that highlights the darkness of America's past, through the innocent eyes of a young girl. With this type of narrator, who almost only understands pure truth, joy, and rage, it is possible for readers to feel what she feels, and be brought into her small world (Alabama during the Great Depression) with simple, yet beautiful writing. The story itself is touching, and focuses on themes of family, racism, and solidarity. Aside from its essentiality in explaining America's history, it also can be read as a coming of age story, where the characters begin to see the harsh reality of the world in which they grew up, and in which they created lasting memories and relationships. It will make you laugh, cry, and feel.

Reviewer's Name: Malachi
The Fallen Architect
Belfoure, Charles
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Douglas Layton was a famous architect and a hero until the balcony of London’s Britannia Empire Theater collapsed. The balcony caused many to lose their lives and Douglas Layton served prison time for it. After serving his time in prison Douglas is on a mission to find out who was truly responsible for this tragedy. He gets a job at the same theater and gets a brand new identity to disguise himself. Douglas gathers more evidence that this incident was intentional. He must tread the water carefully and not let anyone figure out who he is. Fallen Architect is a suspenseful mystery book that will grip the reader's interest and will have them craving for more.

Reviewer's Name: Ananth
The Escape Artist
Meltzer, Brad
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Nola is the army's painter and a solider. She was working on a top secret military mission in Alaska before she died. She got on a military plane and it crashed killing everyone on board. Zig works at an Air Force base and finds out that Nola is miraculously still alive! Nola saved Zig's daughter a long time ago and Zig will do anything to find and be reunited with Nola. Can Zig get to Nola first before her enemies do? This book is a fast paced thriller that will engage the reader.

Reviewer's Name: Ananth
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Doyle, Arthur Conan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Hound of the Baskervilles is another outstanding Sherlock Holmes novel. After wealthy landowner Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must investigate the rumors of an otherworldly hound with glowing eyes and jaw. The Hound of the Baskervilles once again showcases Sherlock Holmes brilliant deductive capabilities and the mental chess-match he plays with villains. However, this novel also shows Dr. Watson's wit and all that he has learned throughout his years with Holmes.
This gripping adventure will keep you on your toes and leave you guessing until the very end. I highly recommend this book for any fan of classic mystery novels.

Reviewer's Name: John
Into the Wild
Krakauer, Jon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a novel that tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a restless adventurer whose happy place was in nature. McCandless graduated college and departed shortly after on a series of adventures, his main one being Alaska. Along the way, Chris met people, many of whom were moved by his go getter free spirited personality. Into the Wild is a phenomenally written novel that I'd recommend to anyone who's trying to search for purpose in their life. It's a book that displays a young man searching for his place in the world.

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth P.
The Last Flight
Clark, Julie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Last Flight is a thriller filled with many unexpected plot twists and cliff hangers. Claire is married to an affluent man named Rory. Everyone is jealous of Claire as they believe she has everything in life. Little does the world know about Rory's temper and abusive behavior. An unexpected meeting at the airport changes everything for Claire. At the airport, on the way to Puerto Rico, Claire meets another woman Eve who also seems to be in a dire situation. Just before Claire's flight is set to depart the two woman swap tickets and Claire is now headed to Oakland and Eva is on her way to Puerto Rico. As Claire arrives in Oakland she finds out that the flight to Puerto Rico crashed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with no survivors. Claire is now stranded in Oakland with no money, and must live the life of a complete stranger who has some dark secrets. This book is a great read and it will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Reviewer's Name: Ananth
Cover of the book The Impossible Climb
Synnott, Mark
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Impossible Climb is about Alex Honnold's journey from being a newbie to the professional climbing community to doing the famous free solo of El Capitan in Yosemite, CA. The author also describes his own adventures on North Face's athlete team. The author is one of Alex's mentors who was there for his famous climb up the Freerider route. I loved this book because of how descriptive Synott was of all of his trips he took to exotic places. It was also excellent because of how the author told his story and Alex Honnold's at the same time.

Reviewer's Name: Abby K.
Cover of the book The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Hugo, Victor
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is about four men who are captivated by a mysterious gypsy dancer. The story begins on a holiday where a play is going on until everyone becomes distracted by the gypsy girl dancing in the square. This is where we meet Esmeralda the gypsy and Gringore the playwright. Many things happen until Esmeralda ends up meeting Pheobus, a soldier, who is very egocentric, when he saves her from the deformed bell ringer - Quasimodo - and a priest named Claude Frollo. Esmeralda is soon accused of witchcraft and is sentenced to be hanged. Fortunately, she is able to find shelter in Notre Dame before that can happen. Many want to kill her, but some want to save her.

I had to read this book for school, and my English teacher recommended it. And the first chapter was not very interesting so I became skeptical, but at the end, I thought the book was really good. There are some parts where the author goes into detail about a location to better help set the scene, and this is where I struggled to focus on the book, but you should push forward because the story line is worth it. The Disney movie did not do this book justice and there is some adult-themed content in the book so I would not recommend this book to middle-schoolers or younger. I do think that sooner or later, everyone should at least give this book a try because it really made me think.

Reviewer's Name: Emma M.
Images of America: Fountain
Hahn, Angela Thaden
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Living, working or driving by a community, one can take for granted that each location has a history or story to tell. Since I've been working at Fountain Library for the past two months, I decided it was time to learn about its history. Orignially, it was home to tribes of Ute Indians that roamed and lived off the land. Around the time of the Civil War, Rhode Island native, Thomas Owen found some well water acreage in an area aptly named "Fountaine qui Bouille" which translates to "The Fountain that boils." What follows is a pictorial history of how this community developed, from farming to ranching, and train transporation of goods, to the arrival of "Camp Carson" that was built during WWII. Like every other town, Fountain has a rich history and long time residents that are proud of their community, including the author who is a native in the neighboring area. A recommended read if local history is your cup of tea.

Reviewer's Name: Susi W.
The Reminders
Emmich, Val
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Reminders is about Joan Lennon Sulley and a ten-year old girl and Gavin Winters a 30-year old actor. Gavin's partner Sydney just had just died and Gavin is going through a rough time. So Gavin goes to live with Joan and her family. Joan's mom was Sydney's friend and Gavin went to stay with them to get away from the Reminders. The only problem is the Joan has HSAM which means she has a highly superior autobiographical memory so she remembers everything. So as a deal Joan promises to tell Gavin of all her memories of Gavin if he helps her write a song for a singer-songwriter contest. Gavin finds out things about Sydney he didn't know. It turns out that he had come to New Jersey for a different reason then what he told Gavin. So he investigates that. Joan tries to make the song to win the contest. Once they finish the song her dad has to close down the studio because he can't work in it anymore.

The reason I liked this book was because it reminded me of other books I've read and loved. One reason I didn't like it that much was that Sydney had to die because according to Joan's memories he seemed like a good man. This book wasn't very funny but it made up for it by being touching and moving. Another thing I like about the book was the characters seemed so real like I was there with them and part of the story.

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn
No Judgments
Cabot, Meg
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Sabrina Beckham moves to a little island in the Florida Keys. She moves to Little Bridge because she had just gone through a rough time. She moved to the island to take a break from the busy life of living in New York. After 3 months of living their a category hurricane is coming. After the hurricane Sabrina and her friend Drew go out to take care and feed all the pets of the people who evacuated and couldn't come back, because the bridge to the main land got washed out. The book ends with a happy ending and everything in the hurricane worked out.

The one reason I picked this book was because it was one of the books by Meg Cabot I hadn't read. I really like her other books. After reading the book I thought about what I thought the way it would end, but the ending was different then I thought. The book was really good and I recommend it to any one who doesn't know what to read.

Reviewer's Name: Jaime
Careless Whiskers
James, Miranda
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Careless Whiskers is the twelfth book in the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries. It takes place in Athena College in Athena, Mississippi where Charlie Harris' daughter and son in law, teachers of theater at the college, are putting on a production of Careless Whispers, starring Luke Lombardi a semi-famous actor who has a bad relationship with Charlie's daughter Laura. Following over the top pranks on Luke, he is murdered on opening night in the middle of the performance, and his co-star Laura is the prime suspect. Charlie needs to find out who would go to such extreme lengths so he can prove his daughter's innocence. The book is pretty good but it can be a little slow in parts.

Reviewer's Name: Emily
Genres:
The Silence of the Library
James, Miranda
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Silence of the Library is the fifth book in the mystery series "The Cat in the Stacks Mysteries". It takes place in the town of Athena in Mississippi, where Charlie Harris volunteers at the local public library. The library is holding exhibit to honor mystery authors of old books with female detectives, especially Electra Barnes Cartwright, the author of the Veronica Thane mysteries. When a avid collector of the Veronica Thane mysteries is murdered leading up to the exhibition, the police must discover who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get a hold of one of the rare Veronica Thane books. The Silence of the Library is a good mystery story but is a little predictable in parts and can be slow in others.

Reviewer's Name: Emily
Genres:
The Liar
Gundar-Goshen, Ayelet
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

"Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceive’". This novel covers a life changing event of a 17 year old girl, Nofar, who has lived an average life and is about to enter her senior year of high school. During the summer, she works in an ice cream shop. One afternoon, she has unpleasant encounter with a formerly famous singer, and tells a lie that escalates events in both of their lives. Her life changes in an exciting and scary way, and his for the worse. As things progress, Nofar repeatedly considers the consequences of her words, which have a domino effect as her lie not only impacts her, but many around her as they get pulled into her dishonesty.

Reviewer's Name: Susi W.
Six Cats a Slayin'
James, Miranda
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Six Cats a Slayin' is the tenth book in the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series. Charlie Harris is preparing for the holidays in Athena, Mississippi when a new neighbor moves in across the street and seems to bring trouble with her. At a holiday party a few days later she is murdered and everyone there is a suspect. To top it all off Charlie finds a box of kittens at his front door with a note asking him to help with the kittens. Charlie needs to find the murderer and the owner of the six kittens. This book is okay but it can be pretty slow in parts and isn't very entertaining.

Reviewer's Name: Emily S.
Genres:
Arsenic and Old Books
James, Miranda
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Arsenic and Old Books is the sixth book in the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series. Charlie Harris is a librarian at the Athena College Library in Athena, Mississippi. The mayor of Athena, Lucinda Long has donated a set of Civil War diaries to the library's archive. The books soon become a problem when many people, including a history professor and two opponents in the campaign for state senate, go head to head to gain access to the books. The book is pretty good but it could use a few more plot twists as it can be slow in parts.

Reviewer's Name: Emily S.
Genres:
Universal Love
Weinstein, Alexander
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"Universal Love" is 11 short stories set in the near future, showing how people use technology to navigate relationships. In one story, a widower signs up for a program to re-create his deceased wife, only to find out his daughters downloaded a fictitious history from romance novels. Another story has testimonies of why people use on-line dating services. A third story explores the relationship of two robotic children who try to act like human children, even to the point of having real life problems and addictions. An interesting look at technology and how it could be in our not far future of how we relate to each other. One constant remains, and that is our need for human interaction, no matter the media we use to get it.

Reviewer's Name: Susi W.
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Kyle, Chris
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is phenomenal! American Sniper is the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a U.S. Navy SEAL and the most effective sniper in United States military history. Chris Kyle writes honestly about the brutality and pain of war and the toll it took on him and his family. This book is absolutely captivating and unforgettable. Everyone who reads this book will become appreciative of the United States Armed Forces and will gain a glimpse of their courage on and off the battlefield. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: John
Cover
Guillory, Jasmine
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Olivia Munroe has just moved to LA, and finds herself frequenting her hotel's bar as she navigates the rental process in LA. On her last night in the hotel, she meets a sexy stranger at the bar. They have a cute interaction, but go their separate ways. Olivia is stunned when she realizes the sexy stranger was in fact Max Powell, a hotshot junior senator from CA. The two have another chance encounter, and this time continue to see each other. But is Olivia ready for life in the public eye?

This is my second Jasime Guillory book (The Wedding Party was my first), and I obviously liked the first enough to read this one, but I liked this one so much more! Olivia and Max were just such great characters, I fell in love with both of them pretty quickly. There's also some topical information about relations between the Black community and the police and politics at large, so that was super timely to read and adds an extra dimension to what would otherwise be a fluffy book. Really, aside from a couple of plot aspects that annoyed me personally, the only thing that bothered me was the lack of sex! Where is the sex?!?! There was soooooooo much sex in The Wedding Party that I expected a bunch here as well and was disappointed by it's absence, especially as I connected with these characters a little more.

I would generally recommend this to women's fiction readers, especially those who are looking for a slightly lighter way to read woke. 3.5 stars - it's somewhere in-between "I liked it" and "I really liked it" for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Books for the eARC that I received in exchange for an honest review. Party of Two is available on 23 June.

Reviewer's Name: Britt
Book Cover
Cho, Zen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water follows a nun who joins a group of bandits trying to protect a religious relic from those who would destroy it. It's a novella, so that's really most of the book, but Zen Cho crams a ton of character development and plenty of plot into this short little read. The two main characters are so well drawn, and I absolutely fell in love with them. The banter between the bandits is loads of fun - I laughed out loud on multiple occasions. There are plenty of fight scenes. I got to learn the word wuxia (think Chinese martial arts heroes). It's very rare that I want a book to be longer, but I so wanted more of this. I'll be checking out Cho's backlist work, Sorcerer to the Crown. 4 stars - that was very good.

Thanks to Tor and Netgalley for the eARC, which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected on Water is available now - put your copy on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: Britt

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