Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Broken Girls

Image result for 9780451489388
BY: Simone St. James
Location: FIC STJ
Genre: Historical Thriller

“Sonia envied her, the way she could turn her brain off, think about absolutely nothing. It was a trick Sonia herself had never learned. That was what books did - they turned off your thinking for you, put their thoughts in your head so you wouldn't have your own.”

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall, and local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears . . .

Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan's elder sister's body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can't stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced . . .

"The Broken Girls is an intelligent, well-written creepy, atmospheric read that I could not put down! There’s something about Simone St. James’ writing style that sucked me in--I honestly had to force myself to put this book down. The characters voices are compelling, and their stories equally interesting. I loved the eerie, gothic like atmosphere, and of course Mary Hand’s presence kept me on edge. There are some paranormal elements, which I normally would have rolled my eyes at, but they serve a purpose and really work in this book. 

I cannot say enough good things about The Broken Girls! I might just have to go reread and experience it all over again! "

Lenny's Book of Everything

Image result for lennys book of everythingBy: Karen Foxlee
Location: FIC FOX
Genre: Family, health, tissues needed!

”Our mother had a dark heart feeling. It was as big as the sky kept inside a thimble. That’s how dark heart feelings are. They have great volume but can hide in small places. You can swallow them with a blink and carry them inside you so no-one would know.

Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won't stop growing - and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their single mother, who works two jobs and is made almost entirely out of worries, they have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else. 

The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia. Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the world - beetles, birds, quasars, quartz - and dream about a life of freedom and adventure, visiting places like Saskatchewan and Yellowknife, and the gleaming lakes of the Northwest Territories. But as her brother's health deteriorates, Lenny comes to accept the inevitable truth; Davey will never make it to Great Bear Lake. 

As we travel on the journey of this story, Lenny leading us with her interest in beetles, and Davey with his fascination with falcons, we learn a host of encyclopaedic facts about the world, but we also learn about love and loss and letting go. This book will break your heart, but it will also open your eyes to the mysteries and wonders of the world. And somehow, in the midst of all that, it will remind you of love and friendship, of the joy of being alive, and of the deep well of hope that lies within us all. It will restore your faith in humanity and prove that while ‘dark heart feelings’ might be a part of the human condition, these are balanced with optimism, yearning, promise and possibilities.

"This is a story with a huge heart, and a writer with a deep understanding of humanity. Beautifully conceived and brilliantly executed, I think Lenny’s Book of Everything is a masterpiece."

"Move aside The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Move aside Wonder. Lenny’s Book of Everything is here."

"Lenny is rare and incredibly special."

On the Come Up

Image result for on the come up angie thomasBy; Angie Thomas
Location: FIC THO
Genre: Hip Hop Fiction

I loved The Hate U Give
It was a needed voice, it was real, I could hear it. I could feel it and I just loved a family that fought together to stay together to support each other who believed in each other. Angie Thomas nailed that book. Then I had to do a stack of research on Tupac and ended up watching his biopic movie on a long haul flight.
The movie should be a hit, it has to be, because it will speak and it will deliver.....

I reckon everyone has their one good book in them, the challenge is to back that up and Angoe Thomas has proved that she is a talented writer, in for the long haul. As one reviewer has stated
"I think this is a great contemporary. A mix of music, family dynamics, fun dialogue, social media and activism, with a protagonist who is moody and difficult and everything I love to read about. I can't wait to see what Thomas writes next."

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Very Large Expanse of the Sea

By: Tahereh Mafi
Image result for 9781405292603
Location: FIC MAF
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

...But I think the greatest takeaway from this book and the lesson that is so central to Shirin's arc is to not let the tangle of fury and grief and despair define your life and your interactions with the world. It's easy sometimes to let the repeated exposure to cruelty parch away the belief that there is goodness in the world still, and this book was a nice reminder of that."- Goodreads

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

This is a critical story that I hope not only makes an impact on YA literature, but also on society in general. It's the type of book that I would recommend a thousand times over. It’s one that I desperately want everyone to read, to learn from, and I’m so thankful Tahereh Mafi shared it with us.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea has all the aspects of your average YA contemporary, but what makes it so unique, and important, is this: the insight on what is means to be a Muslim American living in a post 9/11 world. We follow a teenager as she navigates the typical aspects of high school, from the friend and family dynamics, to schoolwork, to romance, while also experiencing brutal racism in her day to day life. This story is told in such a honest and raw way. There’s funny moments, and sweet moments, but also heartwrenching ones as it brings attention to the harsh reality of xenophobia in our society.

Every single one of us can learn from this book and feel it's impact in one way or another, but more than anything, I am so grateful that Muslim teenagers specifically will have this story in their lives. Even with strides being made for diversity in YA literature, it's still not common enough for their voices and stories to be represented like this. I hope that this book inspires a change. I hope that it only continues to pave the pathway for more proper representation in the future.


The Gilded Wolves

By: Roshani Chokshi
Image result for the gilded wolves
Location: FIC CHO
Genre:  Historical Fiction Fantasy

Again... THAT COVER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


"If you get in the way of a woman's battle, you'll get in the way of her sword." 

From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes The Gilded Wolves, a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change—one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires...

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It's 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history—but only if they can stay alive.

Roshani crafts an exquisitely told story of love, sacrifice, peril, friendship, adventure, and yes, tarantulas. You don’t want to miss out.
Overall, this book opens a rich and vibrant world with a dark underbelly, unexpected twists and suffering, and is truly a statement piece for those under the heel of colonialism, racism and prejudice. The book ends with a captivating set up for the second book that will have you screaming from the rafters and dying for more!=- Goodreads reviews

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

Image result for 9780763698225BY: M.T.Anderson 
Location: FIC AND
Genre: Kind of everything... Fantasy, art, history, adventure, humour

Subverting convention, award-winning creators M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin pair up for an anarchic, outlandish, and deeply political saga of warring elf and goblin kingdoms.

Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom — from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. 
Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them — and war for their nations. 
Witty mixed media illustrations show Brangwain’s furtive missives back to the elf kingdom, while Werfel’s determinedly unbiased narrative tells an entirely different story. 
A hilarious and biting social commentary that could only come from the likes of National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and Newbery Honoree Eugene Yelchin, this tale is rife with thrilling action and visual humor . . . and a comic disparity that suggests the ultimate victor in a war is perhaps not who won the battles, but who gets to write the history

Friday, February 22, 2019

King of Scars

Image result for king of scars
By: Leigh Bardugo
Location: FIC BAR
Series: Nikolai  Duology #1


“Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve. You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself.”

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Five fantastic stars!!!! I loved seeing all those familiar characters start out on new journeys and adventures. This book moved at a fantastic pace with some more amazing world building by Leigh Bardugo. The story gives some of the characters from the Grishaverse more development and honestly even more interests that readers of the rest of Bardugo’s books can build upon further. I know I was not the only one who got way too excited reading that last paragraph of the book! I cannot express how much I loved this first book of the duology! Now the dreaded wait for book two.

My quick and simple overall: LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!- Suzanne- Goodreads

47 Degrees

Image result for 9780143789079Justin D'Ath
Location: FIC DAT
Genre: Survival

So my family are from Nelson, they were evacuated from their home in the bush fires there.. this story is a little more nonfiction for me than it used to be!
This story is also based on the real deal and is a thrilling read that brought together all the fear, confusion, tragedy and uncertainty of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in which 173 people lost their lives

Zeelie wonders if they're in danger. 
When temperatures soar to 47 degrees one hot summer day, 12-year-old Zeelie hopes the neraby bushfires everyone's talking about aren't heading towards her family's new home. What will they do if the wind changes direction? What about their belongings and their beloved pets? And why hasn't her mum and brother returned from Melbourne? 
Nothing can prepare Zeelie for what's to come.

A fast-paced and poignant novel of survival for young readers by Justin D'Ath that draws on his own experience of escaping the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

We need to weaken the mixture

Image result for 9780753545478By: Guy Martin
Location: FIC MAR
Genre: Mending and making cool stuff

'I'm wearing everything out... Why? I don't have an answer. Other than I want to break myself. Then what? I believe the body is a fantastic thing and it will repair itself and I'll go again.' 
This year Guy Martin is restoring and racing a 1983 Williams F1 car; he's attempting the land speed record in Bolivia; he's going for the fastest ever Channel crossing; he's customizing his Ford Transit for record-breaking circuits around Nurburgring, and he's building a Typhoon.

That's exciting - it has to be, otherwise he wouldn't do it. But it's TV stuff. It's not real graft.

Real graft is his 70-hour week mending trucks for a local haulage firm. And between 'proper' jobs, over the summer, he was taytie farming on his new John Deere tractor, working in the fields from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. He was thinking of diversifying into muck-spreading, then the truck-fitting job came up.

Oh yes - and besides the day job and the TV, he's bought his local pub, and the most terrifying he's ever done is sing on stage (out of tune) in front of the Kirmington crowd on New Year's Eve.

Only Guy lives a life like this, and only his stories, in his own words, can do it justice.

'I can't stop biting off more than I can chew. Maybe I'm wearing everything out, but I believe the body is a fantastic thing and it will repair itself and I'll go again. If it's running too rich, I don't stop what I'm doing, just weaken the mixture and carry on.'

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Sky Painted Gold

By: Laura Wood
Image result for 9781407180205Location: FIC WOO
Genre: Historical Fiction 

"A Sky Painted Gold is a beautiful YA debut with the glitz and glamour of the 1920s invading a small Cornish town. Filled with secrets and hidden desire, this book will sweep you up into Lou's world!" Bee from Goodreads .com

Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, seventeen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?

A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.

"With its dreamy setting and colourful characters, as well as all the glitz and glam of the roaring 20s, I cannot recommend this lovely book enough. While reading the last few pages I had the biggest grin on my face and I know it will melt your heart too so make sure to get yourself a copy of A Sky Painted Gold.'' Bella

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Sisters of the Winter Wood

Image result for 9780356511443By: Rena Rossner
Location; FIC ROS
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands.

-----From Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti

Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner's debut invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore and the dangers of the woods.

A magical tale of secrets, family ties and fairy tales weaving through history.

Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life - even if they've heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.

But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true. She must guard this secret carefully, even from her beloved sister.

Soon a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother's warning to be wary of strangers. And these are not the only dangers lurking in the woods...

The sisters will need each other if they are to become the women they need to be - and save their people from the dark forces that draw closer.

"Mixes fairy tale, poetry, history and heart to create an enchanting and mesmerising tale of sisterly love" Sarah Beth Durst

I Stop Somewhere

By: T E Carter
Image result for 9781471167782Location: FIC CAR
Genre: Contemporary

Triggers: Rape, Sexual Violence and Murder

"I thought I knew what is was like to be invisible. I thought I could disappear, but now, I fight to touch anything real and I vanish."

‘This is a haunting and beautiful novel that explores the urgent issue of sexual violence with depth, empathy and devastating anger. Searingly written, it leaps off the page and grabs you by the throat. A love letter to a generation of women who have been taught that they have no choice but to keep quiet and put up with abuse, its message sings out to survivors everywhere and urges everybody else to start listening.’ Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism

"When the world breaks you into pieces, sometimes you find what’s left scattered among other people’s broken parts.”

Ellie Frias has never wanted to be popular, she just wants to blend in, to be accepted. But then Caleb Breward, tells her she’s beautiful and makes her believe it.

Ellie loves Caleb, but sometimes she’s not sure she likes him that much – his awkward smile, the possessive way he touches her, his harsh tone, how he ignores her one minute and can't get enough the next. And then, on one black night, Ellie discovers the monster her boyfriend really is.
Ellie wasn’t the first girl Caleb raped. But she was the first he murdered.
Now, trapped, unable to move on, she witnesses him shatter the lives of other girls again and again. Powerless and alone, Ellie tries to keep hold of happier memories, always waiting – hoping - that someone will find her.

But no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place. 

The Lovely Bones meets Asking For It - this is the searing, heartbreaking story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Dear Evan Hansen

Image result for 9780241361870By: Val Emmich,Justin Paul, Steven Levenson, Benj 
Location: FIC EMM
Genre: Contemporary Youth Fiction

From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen

"If the pain is in you, it's in you. It follows you everywhere. Can't outrun it. Can't erase it. Can't push it away; it only comes back."

Dear Evan Hansen, 

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

“I wish that everything was different. I wish that I was a part of something. I wish that anything I said mattered, to anyone. I mean, let's face it: would anybody even notice if I disappeared tomorrow?” 

"I thoroughly enjoyed the story, writing, light love story, mental health theme, and Evan Hansen as well as the people in his life. Evan is someone imperfect. He lies. He overlooks. He dodges. He hides. And yet, you can’t help but sympathize and wish for things in his life to turn around. You even understand many of the bad choices he makes, for they are difficult. At least I did."- LOLA

The Survival Game

By: Nicky Singer
Image result for 9781444944525Location: FIC SIN
Genre: Sci Fi, Dystopia 

In a world full of checkpoints and controls, can love and hope defy the borders? A searing, timely story, as arresting as it is beautiful. 

Mhairi Anne Bain owns only two things: a gun with no bullets and her identity papers.

The world is a shell of what it once was. Now, you must prove yourself worthy of existence at every turn, at every border checkpoint. And if you are going to survive, your instincts will become your most valuable weapon.

Mhairi has learnt the importance of living her own story, of speaking to no one. But then she meets a young boy with no voice at all, and finds herself risking everything to take him to safety.

And so Mhairi and the silent boy travel the road north. But there are rumours that things in Scotland have changed since she has been away. What Mhairi finds there is shocking and heart-breaking, but might finally re-connect her to her sense of self and to the possibility of love.

"Woah... this book rendered me speechless.
It is hard-hitting, gritty and utterly shocking. 

In a dystopian world where global warming is forcing people to move northwards, away from the drying and dying equatorial regions, Scotland is closing its borders and refugee camps and detention centres are springing up. 

Mhairi, a Scottish national, is making her way north from the Sudan, where she has been living with her parents, when she comes across a young boy and and an old man. When circumstances lead her to have to help the boy she has some tough decisions to make....

An amazing read.."  Penny- Goodreads

Broken Things

Image result for 9781444786859By: Broken Things
Location: FIC OLI
Genre:Mystery, Thriller 

“That's the problem with lies. They aren't solid. They melt, and seep, and leak into the truth. And sooner or later, everything's just a muddle.”

It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. 

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it. 

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous

"Tense, atmospheric, often a little creepy, Broken Things was a wonderful if a little heart breaking read and I definitely recommend it"

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Words on Bathroom Walls

Image result for 9780399550911By: Julia Walton
Location: FIC WAL
Genre: Mental Health  

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Charlie Plummer, AnnaSophia Robb, and Taylor Russell! 

Fans of More Happy Than Not, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and It's Kind of a Funny Story will cheer for Adam in this uplifting and surprisingly funny story of a boy living with schizophrenia.

"It's significantly more difficult to make friends when people know you see things you shouldn't be able to see."

When you can't trust your mind, trust your heart. 

Adam is a pretty regular teen--he's just navigating high school life while living with paranoid schizophrenia. His hallucinations include a cast of characters that range from the good (beautiful Rebecca) to the bad (angry Mob Boss) to the just plain weird (polite naked guy).

An experimental drug promises to help him hide his illness from the world. When Adam meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the normal, great guy that she thinks he is. But as the miracle drug begins to fail, how long can he keep this secret from the girl of his dreams?

"A brutal, beautiful book that sits right beside The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I'll Give You the Sun ."
--Jennifer Longo, author of Up to This Pointe

"This book reminds me of A Monster Calls. I saved the final twenty pages for the next day because I didn't want Adam's story to end."
--Peter Brown Hoffmeister, author of This Is the Part Where You Laugh