Featured Post

Greetings from the Librarian's Office!

Hello reader(s), I'm just writing to check in just in case my one subscriber got worried about me. ;-)   I posted a brief introducti...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FIND HER by Lisa Gardner

25644437Published February 9th 2016 by Dutton
Read: February 2016
How I Got It: Ebook (approximately 416 pages) from NetGalley 
Series: Detective D.D. Warren Series ( # 8)

Flora Dane was kidnapped and forced to live in a pine box. It has been five years since her terrifying final days with her kidnapper, and she is not adjusting well to the life of a survivor. When she hears about the recent abduction of Stacey Summers, she cannot help but turn into a vigilante. This is where her path crosses with Detective D.D. Warren. Just as Flora’s having trouble adjusting, D.D., on restricted duty due to a shoulder injury, doesn’t like being chained to a desk either. Both women take their own paths to find Stacey, but both also have a lot to learn if they are to find her alive.  

Lisa Gardner writes an intriguing mystery that hooks the reader from the very first sentence. Not only is the story a genius concoction of past and present crimes, it is a story that makes the reader feel. Annoyance, fear, and disgust are just a few of the emotions the reader will inhabit while switching between the perspectives of Flora (both past and present) and the detective. Gardner’s writing devices, the perspective switch as well as her repetition of phrases (“nobody wants to be a monster”) work well to add suspense. Readers who love mystery will speed through the pages of D.D. Warren’s latest case. Although this is the eighth novel of Garner’s Detective D.D. Warren series, it works as a standalone, and readers should not shy away from entering D.D.’s world now. 

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with  an advanced electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

SEVEN WAYS WE LIE by Riley Redgate

Expected publication: March 8th 2016 by Amulet Books
Read: February 2016
How I Got It: Ebook (approximately 352 pages) from NetGalley 

Seven Ways We Lie is a high school story that, apart from a scandalous teacher-student relationship, deals with real high school issues. Told from multiple perspectives, the characters deal with drugs, parties, sexuality, and even some school projects. Even the dialogue is believable, and it’s presented as clipped sentences with sometimes awkward undertones. There are a lot of “um, so yeah” conversations, but then the author goes into beautiful prose for the remaining storytelling. The pacing of the story was timed well also; in fact, all the different perspectives allowed the reader to see more of the story than would have been presented with only one main character.

Likening every point of view to one of the seven deadly sins was an intriguing device for the story. Two of the characters even do a project on Dante’s Inferno which further delves into the “high school is hell” metaphor. Ultimately, Seven Ways We Lie was a well-paced story with enough mystery (who is the student involved with a teacher?) to keep the reader hooked from the first chapter, and Riley Redgate makes each character so relatable that the constant change in perspective is not only welcomed but anticipated. 

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with  an advanced electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, February 12, 2016


Published August 4th 2015 by Scout Press
Read: November 2015
How I Got It: Borrowed Hardcover (310 pages) from Public Library 

Nora runs, listens to her talk radio programs, and writes novels. She is content in her independent lifestyle until she receives an invitation to a hen night (read bachelorette party) for her estranged best friend, Clare, whom she hasn’t heard from in ten years. She chooses to attend the weekend-long festivities and finds herself at a house in the woods with no cell phone service, a muddy driveway, and a cast of characters including a doctor, a playwright, a new mother, and Clare’s perfectionist new best friend. Shooting ranges, Ouija boards, drinking, and drugs ensue, and Nora begins to realize that everything she knew about her past with Clare was wrong. When she wakes up in a hospital with a head wound and police outside of her room whispering of a murder, Nora must piece together her memories of the weekend and decipher between what’s real and what’s not.  

This is a page-turning, edge of your seat, whodunit novel. Not only is there mystery in the relationship between Nora and Clare, but the details of the crime aren’t reveled right away. Even then, the reader is stuck in a case of amnesia with Nora, and while certain aspects of the mystery are predictable, the ending was a complete surprise. In a Dark, Dark Wood is a twisty mystery, and while most loose ends are tied up, it still leaves the reader wanting to know more. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Published October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Read: November 2015
How I Got It: Purchased Hardcover (599 pages) from Amazon
Series: The Illuminae Files (subsequent books to be released in 2016 and 2017)

In the year 2075, people travel through space, artificial intelligence has a name and personality, and terrorism is unfortunately still a problem.  When the Kerenza colony is attacked by a company called BeiTech Industries, Kady and her boyfriend (or is it ex-boyfriend?), Ezra, are forced into a war. There is battle carrier action, a disease turning the ship inhabitants into zombie-like creatures, and a supercomputer (AIDAN) with a god-complex. The book is set up like a dossier of the “incident” including news briefs, chat conversations, surveillance footage, and data straight from AIDAN’s core. The text is not always linear; the words twist and turn on the page to reflect the ships in battle and become convoluted with a mix of ones and zeros when AIDAN becomes damaged. 

In the midst of war, there is still romance, humor, and strong character development. Young adult readers, especially those who prefer short text message language, will enjoy the way this story is written. Readers will also love the mix of outer space, warfare, zombies, and technology that this book presents. Kady and Ezra are relatable characters, and seeing this war through their eyes allows it to be exhilarating yet somehow a little less scary. Knowing that this book is part one of an upcoming series, the Illuminae Files, lends to the fact that the characters will be okay even if there are many yet unanswered questions.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Greetings from the Library Reference Desk!

Hello readers,

  My name is Natalie, and I am a Reference and Instruction Librarian for a local community college. You'll notice that posts previous to this are arranged by "modules." Well that is due to the fact that this blog was originally an assignment for my Young Adult Literature class in my Master of Library Science program. However, now that I've graduated and become a real-live Librarian, I have decided to resurrect this blog from the internet graveyard.

  In addition to all things library, I am a book lover (no, the two are not mutually exclusive), and I am a book reviewer for Library Journal. Unfortunately, because of copyright issues, those reviews must stay in the confines of the print journal and lj.libraryjournal.com/. But I will link to those reviews if links become available. Because I have been reviewing for that publication, and I am used to following their reviewing guidelines that means that all of my reviews will be in the same format (Yay for consistency!).

  The previous posts on this blog, again, are from a Young Adult Literature class so they are all juvenile or young adult book reviews. I still read A LOT of YA Lit, but I've broadened my reading horizons to include nonfiction (including technology stuff, celebrity biography, etc.), adult general fiction, mystery and thriller, humor, and just whatever else I feel like picking up. So the following reviews will be for many different genres of books.

Where do I get my books?
  From the library (obviously). I also get books from NetGalley (advanced reading is great), Barnes and Noble, the Amazon Kindle store, book fairs, thrift stores... I think you get the idea. I'm also a subscriber to Uppercase Box ( a monthly YA subscription box created by Lisa Parkin, uppercasebox.com); I recommend it to any YA book lover.

I hope you enjoy the reviews!