Author Archive

The Room of Requirement

January 7, 2019

This American Life and Library lovers behold: An episode of NPR’s podcast This American Life all about Libraries! There are some really lovely stories here (it made me cry!) and is reminiscent of every other episode of this podcast which provides some great storytelling.

Click the icon below to listen:

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Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful

January 6, 2019

The format of the book Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton was a little bit of a turnoff for me at first – it consists of six somewhat interconnected stories, each one farther into the future – because I usually CANNOT STAND seeing a person’s story through until the end. However, each new story is filled with such rich characters and such compelling storytelling that you cannot put the book down! If you are a fan of the TV show Black Mirror you would like this Sci-Fi book.

The stories take place in a future where new scientific advances make it so that no human injury or disease can’t be cured. But how far we will go to remake ourselves into the perfect human specimens, and how hard that will push the definition of “human.”

This extraordinary work explores the amazing possibilities of genetic manipulation and life extension, as well as the ethical quandaries that will arise with these advances. The results range from the heavenly to the monstrous. By the end of the novel I still couldn’t decide where I stood on these issues – but in all seriousness the CHARACTERS IN THIS BOOK WILL PULL YOU IN LIKE NO OTHER!

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Sadie

December 24, 2018

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There are three books that I have read this year that I believe are real contenders for this years Printz Award. Sadie by Courtney Summers is one of those books. For fans of true crime, especially true crime podcasts, this book is perfect. Told from two points of view Sadie herself and West McCray’s transcript of his true crime podcast The Girls (which is reminiscent of Serial), this book perfectly pulls you in and strings you along during this beautifully crafted mystery.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water after her drug-addicted mother abandons them. But when Mattie is found dead – brutally murdered, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him – clues that involve her past.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, and hoping to find her before it’s too late.

The interchanging points of view allow you to experience Sadie’s desperate search while keeping the mystery of what happens to her (and what happened in her past to set her on this wild goose chase) a secret.

This book is thrilling and touching at the same time- not an easy feat. Keep your eye out for this one!

A Room Away From The Wolves

December 11, 2018

 

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A Room Away From the Wolves is one of my favorite authors, Nova Ren Suma’s new book. I will say this disclaimer for people who have not read anything by her before: expect to not know what is going on – ever. You will be confused, the chapters will be a little bit long, and there won’t necessarily be any answers at the end. However, it is all worth it. Her stories are intricate and surreal. Her characters are deep and dark. Just read it.

Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave. Can she ever leave? Can ANY of the girls?

Price of Duty

December 8, 2018

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I just finished reading Price of Duty by Todd Strasser. Admittedly, this is not normally the type of book that I would read. However, I am glad that I did as sometimes it is good to have a reminder of the issues that arise from the United States being a country that technically is at war.

The story follows Jake Liddell who has just returned home a “war hero” after being seriously injured when his convoy is attacked while he is deployed overseas. Many of his friends died. He saw and did things that are unimaginable.

The war has followed him back. He needs pills to get any sleep, a young woman is trying to persuade him into speaking out against military recruitment tactics, and his famous military general grandfather is already urging him back onto the battlefield. He doesn’t know what to do; nothing makes sense anymore. Will he do what is expected of him? Will he keep up the charade that the war in the Middle East is for a just cause?

 


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