Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Love, Life and the List

Image result for 9780062835697By: Kasie West
Location: FIC WES
Genre: Romance

A perfect suumer read for those on our Summer Reading Holiday programme

What do you do when you’ve fallen for your best friend? Funny and romantic, this effervescent story about family, friendship, and finding yourself is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings, Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list, she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being.

But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems... and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself

"That was so dang cute! Kasie West is the queen of YA romances, I always enjoy her books. This is the perfect escapist novel! Be sure to read it if you want a break from reality" Rachel review

Kill the Queen

Image result for 9780062797612
By: Jennifer Estep
Location: FIC EST
Genre: Fantasy- magic
Series: A Crown of Shards #1

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones

A royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic —an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

 Kill The Queen is one that was impossible to put down. From the very first few bloody chapters right up until the spectacular ending, I knew that this was going to be a series I wanted, no, needed, more of. 

Right from the beginning this screams Estep with the classic allure of both food references and bloody fight scenes along with a strong female MC that you just know is going to kick butt and take names along the way. 

I absolutely adored not only the originality in this but the pure awesomeness of, well, everything. The setting has this almost historic fantasy feel to it that sets it apart from others in the genre. With a flare of magic and adventure it really was so very hard to resist. 

I am on edge for the next book to see where it will go from here.  Goodreads review

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

It's a Wonderful Death

Image result for 9781510738591By: Sarah J Schmitt
Location: FIC SCH
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Everyone has something to learn and something to teach. Once you have done those two things, you have accomplished your life mission and it’s time to come home.” “Then”

If you had one chance to change your future, would you? 

This feels a bit like 5 People You Meeet In Heaven cross Book Thief!

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll.

But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She'll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ's life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. Is walking among the living worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast?

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Feather Thief

By: Kirk Wallace Johnson
Location: NF 920 JOH
Genre:   Bizarre and shocking crime!

A whodunnit for bird lovers and fly fishermen

Who is Edwin Rist?
Johnson  makes his true-crime debut with this enthralling account of a truly bizarre crime.... Johnson goes deep into the exotic bird and feather trade and concludes that though obsession and greed know no bounds, they certainly make for a fascinating tale. The result is a page-turner that will likely appeal to science, history, and true crime readers * Publishers Weekly *
Image result for 9781786330147One summer evening in 2009, twenty-year-old musical prodigy Edwin Rist broke into the British Museum of Natural History. Hours later, he slipped away with a suitcase full of rare bird specimens collected over the centuries from across the world, all featuring a dazzling array of priceless feathers.
Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist-deep in a river in New Mexico when he first heard about the heist, from his fly-fishing guide. When he discovered that the thief evaded prison, and that half the birds were never recovered, Johnson embarked upon a years-long worldwide investigation which led him deep into the fiercely secretive underground community obsessed with the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.
A page-turning story of a bizarre and shocking crime, The Feather Thief shines a light on our fraught relationship with the natural world’s most beautiful and valuable wonders, and one man’s relentless quest for justice.

The Librarian of Auschwitz

By: Antonio Iturbe
Image result for 9781627796187Location: FIC ITU
Genre: Historical Fiction- Holocaust

This book is FULL!

“Books are extremely dangerous; they make people think.” 
― Antonio Iturbe, The Librarian of Auschwitz

“Throughout history, all dictator, tyrants, and oppressors, whatever their ideology - whether Aryan, African, Asian, Arab, Slav, or any other racial background; whether defenders of popular revolutions, or the privileges of the upper classes, or God's mandate, or martial law - have had one thing in common: the vicious persecution of the written word.
― Antonio Iturbe, La bibliotecaria de Auschwitz

 Or newspapers as well....

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the TerezĂ­n ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz. 

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope

This review is by Erin-

“The Librarian of Auschwitz” by Antonio Iturbe is classified as young adult, historical fiction (based in reality, obviously). However, this novel is so much more than that. 

Fourteen year old Dita is imprisoned with her family in an Auschwitz concentration camp. When she is asked by a Jewish leader to take on the role of handling the books for the makeshift school, Dita immediately agrees. Books are hard to come by, as many of them have been burned and deemed ‘blasphemous’ and ‘against the Fuhrer’, so Dita knows the job is a dangerous one. But her love of books and the joy she knows they can spread to others surpasses her fears. 

Not only is the novel as powerful as any novel from this era is, it also holds a special power. It spreads the love and passion of books that only those with a true adoration can admire. Dita is a spectacular character, brave and compassionate, but also stubborn and caring. Based on a real person, Dita is someone a reader can easily root for. 

Depressing as the setting of the novel is, there is innocence and love between the pages, too. It reflects on the great blessings we have that we take for granted (for example, the availability and access we have to any and all books on any and all subjects), and the travesties that we, as a Human Race, have inflicted on others. 

This novel, based on subject matter, was not an easy read, but it was one that I quickly became engrossed in. I cheered for Dita and her friends from the first page and I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Iturbe’s epilogue, entitled “Whatever happened to…”, where he fills us in on the outcomes of some of the “real” characters from the novel. 

It is thick with characters, with confusing and often similar names, so it is easy to get some of the characters mixed up, but overall the novel was entertaining, powerful and heart-warming. The ending was delightful and satisfying, bringing hope to a reader after such an emotional story. 

To quote Dita,
“A book is like a trapdoor that leads to a secret attic; you can open it and go inside. And your world is different” 
and out of respect for her and this novel, I will read as often and as many books as I can and be grateful for the unbridled access. Well done, Mr. Itrube. Bravo indeed. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Freeze Frame Revolution

Image result for 9781616962524By: Peter Watts
Location: FIC WAT
Genre:  Science Fiction

Bottom Line: If you love a sci-fi that makes you really think, but is also full of action, this is one you won't want to miss! - Shannon

She believed in the mission with all her heart.
But that was sixty million years ago.

How do you stage a mutiny when you're only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what best for you?

Sunday Ahzmundin is about to find out.

Every time I read Peter Watts, I find myself looking up words that I had no idea existed. I like to think of myself as a pretty smart guy, and Watts' books blow a hole in that idea every single time. I love them despite this. Or maybe because of it. It is a joy to see someone work at the very top of their game and make it look so effortless. Watts invents whole worlds to support his stories and novels, and they are so well-engineered that they are practically invisible, humming along quietly in the background.

In this novella, a crew member on a billion-year mission deep into the galaxy decides that she wants to quit. But to do that, she'll have to outwit the ship's artificial intelligence in the brief spans when she's awakened from hibernation. It takes decades of planning over centuries of travel, and yet somehow Watts makes it all feel urgent and taut. It's impossible not to root for the characters even though their onboard computer really only wants the best for them (within mission parameters, of course). Though it all, Watts makes the alien seem familiar and leads you to empathize with people stuck centuries in the future. But this is what good fiction does: it explores what it means to be human, even in the strangest and most extreme of circumstances.- Christopher Farnsworth-

The Alienist

Image result for 9780751574173By: Caleb Carr
Location: FIC CAR
Genre: Thriller- Historical Fiction

“The defenders of decent society and the disciples of degeneracy are often the same people.”

 When The Alienist was first published in 1994, it was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list, receiving critical acclaim, and selling millions of copies. This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere.

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Inside the Tiger

By: Hayley Lawrence
Image result for 9780143788959Location: FIC LAW
Genre: Law-Love- Life -Loss

"A captivating and raw read about a school girl writing to a prisoner on death row (only a year older than herself). 
It is a story of hope, determination and personal sacrifice. "

It’s not because Bel’s mother was murdered.
It’s not because her father is a politician.
Bel writes to a Death Row prisoner as an easy way out of an assignment.

But now he’s written back. Drawn to Micah’s world inside a Thai prison, she finds herself falling for the boy with ragged hair, shackles and a terrible past. Will Bel lose him too? And could it mean losing the people who mean the most to her at home?
Whatever happens, none of them will ever be the same .

"Inside the Tiger is a must-read for those who find themselves unsure about approaching and even befriending those who are vastly different to themselves. Anyone wanting to grow in their capacity for empathy and understanding will thoroughly enjoy and benefit from reading this book.

Through the fictional character of Bel, we learn about the highs and lows of embracing someone different to ourselves. And we also learn that despite the fact we may stuff it up at times, life is richer when we embrace those who are different to us and when we take the time to get to know them and to share our lives with them.

Thank you so much Hayley, for writing important books with help us grow in empathy and understanding." -Joni- Goodreads review

A Winter's Promise

Image result for 9781925603828By: Christelle Dabos
Location: FIC DAB
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Mirror Visitor #1

Translated by Hildegarde Serle

Translated from the French, this international bestseller is world-building at its best. The unusual settings, original characters, dark intrigue, and fast-moving plot result in a book that leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next volume. It has great adult crossover as the characters and situations cross age levels.' * School Library Journal

Long ago, following a cataclysm called ‘The Rupture’, the world was shattered into floating celestial islands, known now as Arks. Ophelia lives on Anima, an Ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, Ophelia hides two powers: the ability to read the past of objects and their human owners, and the ability to travel through mirrors. When she is promised in marriage to Thorn, the young girl must leave her family and follow her fiancĂ© to Citaceleste, the floating capital of a distant Ark. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity?

With a feisty, unforgettable heroine, a rich universe, romance and thrilling intrigue, A Winter’s Promise will appeal equally to readers of Cornelia Funke, Scott Westerfeld and Margaret Rogerson. Discover the first instalment in a grand saga, and a talented new fantasy author.

"It was fun. Pure YA entertainment. Because it was translated from French it had a very unique vibe to it which I can only imagine is due to the authors background and talent. It was eerie and imaginative, detailed and the universe was so expansive! I thoroughly enjoyed it and imagine most fans of YA will feel the same way."- Melissa

" I loved every single page of this book!! Loved the characters, the world is absolutely amazing and dynamics too!" Irene

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Way You Make Me Feel

By: Maureen Goo
Location: FIC GOO
Image result for 9780374311957Genre: Young Adult- Romance

I have just been to the USA and those American food trucks house the most delicious food, especially the mexican ones. Tacoedelicious. What a perfect setting for a youth fiction novel! Teenage angst, joy, family, relationships, all mixed with salsa and guacamole!

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

"This was a light, adorable read! I loved the food truck aspect as well!! I loved every INCH of this book. It's sweet and funny and full of pranks and pure joy. Clara has such a clear, distinct voice; there's no other character is YA lit like her right now, and I absolutely couldn't get enough.

This book has real depth too - why we hold things at arms length and why caring about this is so hard.

PICK UP THIS BOOK. You won't regret.
Very highly recommended.
Goodreads recommendation

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad's business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you'd never thought to look.

“As I stood there surrounded by three people who had the ability to do just that-crack my chest open to all the disappointment and difficulty and grief-I knew I still wanted it. The risk of the bad stuff was sp worth the good stuff. People who would be there for you when you messed up and behaved like a little jerk? They were the good stuff.”

This Adventure Ends

Image result for 9781250129376By: Emma Mills
Locvtion: FIC MIL
Genre:Youth Fiction- Romance

The thing about fic is that is comes from love. Characters you love so much, that you feel so deeply for, you'll watch them fall in love a thousand different ways, over and over.” 
“Dreams don't have to be realistic- that's why they're dreams. You have to work to make them happen. Or else they would be...realities"

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romance, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story from Emma Mills (First & Then) is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in love with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so layered with private tragedies and secret codes, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens. And it will lead her (and, um, her dad) on a life-changing adventure.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Praise for This Adventure Ends:

"With taut, realistic dialogue, [Mills] expertly crafts blossoming friendships and nascent romances." —Publishers Weekly

"Immensely enjoyable." —Booklist

“The thing about fic is that is comes from love. Characters you love so much, that you feel so deeply for, you'll watch them fall in love a thousand different ways, over and over.” —Dreams don't have to be realistic- that's why they're dreams. You have to work to make them happen. Or else they would be...realities"