Author Archive

The Missing Season

June 4, 2019

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The Missing Season is Gillian French’s third YA novel that she has written (and I’ve read them all!). She is great at writing mystery/thrillers with likable characters. She mixes danger with fun and beautiful language.

This newest one is about Clara, who moves to a on-the-downturn town called Pender. With the closing of the paper mill, Pender is a town in despair. But Pender also has another dark side that existed before the closing of the mill – the legend of the Mumbler. Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the Pender kids know what is really behind it: the horrific monster out in the marshes they have named the Mumbler.

That’s what Clara’s new crew tells her when she moves to town: Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing; spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year’s Halloween prank war; and magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist. Clara doesn’t actually believe in the Mumbler. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender, lurking in the shadows, waiting to bring the stories to life.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. My one gripe? When we finally get to the real story of the infamous Mumbler, the story is wrapped up in SIX PAGES. An entire book of build-up with….six pages?

In any case, it is worth a read – its juicy!

Dear Fahrenheit 451

May 26, 2019

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I just finished this adorable book that will appeal to Librarians and book-lovers alike. In Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks, author Annie Spence pens a letter to each book she weeds from her Library collection – 50 Shades of Grey, Matilda, The Virgin Suicides – with admiration in some cases and snark in others that pays homage to each book some loved – some forgotten.

Any avid reader would appreciate her humor and nostalgia – give it a try!

Surviving the City

May 21, 2019

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Surviving the City, besides being a beautiful graphic novel and story, is a good reminder of a lesser known issue that plagues women in the United States.

Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel debut is a story about Miikwan and Dez who are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape – they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?

Native American women are among the most marginalized populations in the US. They face a far greater risk of facing racial or gender-based violence, being murdered, or going missing. If you are interested in this topic, or are uninformed visit the NWAC website – the statistics are chilling.

Lovely War

May 14, 2019

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If you like Greek Mythology, historical fiction, or romance – then Lovely War by Julie Berry is perfect for you. Luckily, I love all three.

The book oscillates between three separate but connected stories taking place during World War I (often historical books center on WWII so this was a nice change).

It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.

Julie Berry is known for her spot-on historical fiction and her exhaustive research. I learned a lot of interesting things concerning WWI and the African-American regiments that participated in the war – along with some American Jazz history. One of my favorite books of the year so far!

How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t

April 27, 2019

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Lane Moore’s book of essays How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even if You Don’t is a humorous collection that I found to be about a universally connecting topic: loneliness. Moore hosted her iconic show Tinder Live and a former writer for The Onion and is an award-winning sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan. But her story has had its obstacles, including being her own parent, living in her car as a teenager, and moving to New York City to pursue her dreams. Through it all, she looked to movies, TV, and music as the family and support systems she never had.

From spending the holidays alone to having better “stranger luck” than with those closest to her to feeling like the last hopeless romantic on earth, Lane reveals her powerful and entertaining journey in all its candor, anxiety, and ultimate acceptance—with humor always her bolstering force and greatest gift.

Despite the title, this book was a great reminder that you truly aren’t the only person who for one reason or another is “alone” – and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you are!


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