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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

I wouldn't trust any of the teachers at this school

Cover of The Teacher
A review of The Teacher by Frieda McFadden

I felt like shrieking more than a few times while reading The Teacher. Here's the deal: there's a student at Caseham High who was involved with a teacher last year in a way that drew suspicion from parents, other teachers, and administrators at the school. Nobody seems to know what happened, but the teacher resigned in disgrace and the student, Addie, earned a reputation for being troubled. It's not clear if Addie is truly troubled or if she's a victim of circumstance. What is clear is that she's a school pariah and being bullied by mean girls.

Mar 28, 2024

With a little heart

Cover of When Grumpy Met Sunshine
A review of When Grumpy Met Sunshine by Charlotte Stein

I have mentioned in the past how I enjoy the grumpy/sunshine trope in romances (or really any genre), so how could I resist a book titled When Grumpy Met Sunshine? It's all right there in the title. Add to that the hero is an ornery ex-footballer (soccer player on our side of the pond) who bears more than a bit of a resemblance to Roy on Ted Lasso (looks and personality) and the heroine is a sunny, but competent, ghostwriter? I'm in. And I'm so glad I was. This is a heartwarming read with likable protagonists in a funny, sometimes bittersweet, story.

Mar 26, 2024

Being the biggest girl

Cover of Wish Soup: A Celebration o
A review of Wish Soup: A Celebration of Seollal by Junghwa Park

It's Seollal (Lunar New Year), and Sohee can't wait to prove how much of an eonni (big girl) she is! To celebrate Seollal, everyone eats tteokguk, a delicious soup. For every bowl one eats, they get a year older, and Sohee wants to eat as many bowls as she can! But as she helps prepare for the celebration, responsibilities keep getting in the way of eating her delicious tteokguk. This fun book includes a recipe at the end for how to make tteokguk.

Mar 22, 2024

Darker side of Provence

Cover of Murderous Mistral
A review of Murderous Mistral by Cay Rademacher

After an investigation into political corruption in Paris, Capitaine Roger Blanc has stepped on a few too many toes, and is transferred from Paris to the South of France far away from political power. Or is it? Blanc, now the new boy, is assigned to the new case of a burned man at the dump in what looks like a routine drug deal gone wrong. But appearances are deceiving.

Mar 21, 2024

Wonderfully imagined

Cover of Dragonfruit
A review of Dragonfruit by Makiia Lucier

Makiia Lucier wowed me a few years ago with a book I've re-read many times. Her Year of the Reaper  was set in a fully realized fantasy world and featured a flawed, but honorable, protagonist facing impossible choices with much grace and compassion. Since reading it, I've been eagerly waiting for Lucier's next. And here it is.

Mar 19, 2024

The people who complete you

Cover of I'm Not Done with You Yet
A review of I'm Not Done with You Yet by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jane's world changes the instant she meets Thalia. Both young women are waiting in line for a bus that will take them to their prestigious Oxford Creative Writing program and for Jane, the experience is heady and intoxicating. Thalia is beautiful and confident. She's smart and talented. She's wealthy and knows how to act. She has everything going for her and is beloved by all. Jane is plain and socially awkward. She's barely scraping by financially and in all aspects of her life.

Mar 18, 2024

Off to find the haunted

Cover of The Goblin Twins
A review of The Goblin Twins by Frances Cha
Jaime Kim

Cha's story features twin brothers Doki and Kebi, Korean magical Goblins who couldn't be more different. Doki loves reading and secretly performing acts of kindness, while Kebi is happiest when exploring or playing tricks on people. This spooky tale explores their adventure to find a new haunted house in the United States. Although it’s not spooky season, this fun tale has a surprise ending that will delight adults and children alike!

A helpful author’s note explains the prominence of dokkaebi in Korean mythology, art, and history.

--reviewed by Melissa

Mar 15, 2024

Wading through

Cover of Blood on Their Hands: Murd
A review of Blood on Their Hands: Murder, Corruption and the Fall of the Murdaugh Dynasty by Mandy Matney and Carolyn Murnick

True crime books, tv shows, and podcasts are everywhere, but every now and then a crime, or series of connected crimes, breaks out of one format to overtake them all. The tale of the Murdaugh family in a rural part of South Carolina is one of those. From the first stirrings about the boat crash that killed a pretty young teenager, to the deaths of a mother and her son, to the father claiming to have survived an assassination attempt and then the revelation that there were two deaths that preceded all of this? This was a crime story that had everything and then some.

Mar 14, 2024


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