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Book Reviews

Stay with Me
Ayobami Adebayo
See in Catalog

3 Stars

A culturally rich novel, with sympathetic characters. It was introspective, issue-oriented and showed depth of character development, along with giving the reader a good look into marriage and family dynamics in the Nigerian culture. The story line between couple Yejide and Akin was emotionally intense and plot driven.

-Michelle

Force of Nature
Jane Harper
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Audiobook: Macmillan Audio, 8 CDs (9 hours), Unabridged. Read by Stephen Shanahan.

4.5 Stars

A corporate wilderness retreat goes awry when five women enter the Australian bush, but only four return. Federal Agent Aaron Falk joins in on the hunt for the missing woman as he and his partner have a vested interest, as she is a key component of their current investigation. Steve Shanahan returns to read this second work in Jane Harper’s series with his clear authentic Australian accent that sets the tone for the outback thriller. The pace is quick and those not accustomed to listening to audio books with accents, will need to listen closely at first, but will be quickly drawn into the the story and swept away with his stellar narration. While books in the series can stand separately, much insight is to be gained by starting with The Dry. Harper’s first standalone The Lost Man will be out in February 2019, so now is a great time to get caught up on her work!

-Lesley

Time's Convert
Deborah Harkness
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5 Stars

I’m a HUGE fan of the All Souls series and this next look into the lives of the de Clermont family did not disappoint. Marcus and Phoebe are complex and courageous characters, and it was a pleasure to get to know them better. The novel was nonlinear, leisurely paced and character driven and pulled me in from the first pages. It was filled with old and new characters who supported the main characters, Marcus and Phoebe, but brought us back to what we loved so much from the All Souls Trilogy. The writing style is engaging and compelling, and I was sorry when the book ended. I look forward to what Deborah Harkness has in store next.

-Michelle

Crazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan
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Audiobook: Books on Tape, 11 CDs (14 hours), Unabridged. Read by Lynn Chen

5 Stars

When Rachel Chu agrees to go home to with her boyfriend Nick Young to Singapore and attend his best friend’s wedding, little does she know she will now be attending Asia’s wedding of the century and become involved with some of the world’s richest and most cunning families, on a trip that will change her life. Lynn Chen narrates the audio book with rich and authentic accents. As many readers may not be familiar with the Chinese terms used through out, the pronunciation on the audio truly enhances the written work. Those who fall in love with Crazy Rich Asians will be pleased to know this is the first book in the trilogy. With the movie being a blockbuster hit, this is sure to be a hot read this summer.

-Lesley

And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie
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Audiobook: Harper Audio, 5 CDs (6 hours) Unabridged. Read by Dan Stevens

4 stars

And Then There Were None was a fast-paced and intricately plotted murder mystery, that surprised me at the end.  The story is menacing, dark and haunting and has stood the test of time.  This was a first reading of this classic novel for me; I loved it. I listened to the audio book and the narrator Dan Stevens was outstanding, I highly recommend the audio.

-Michelle

Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng
See in Catalog

5 stars

It has been a while since I have felt so invested in a group of characters as I was in this fiction novel. It’s the story of a community and the families and ideas that make it up. However, it’s also a story of the aftermath of making snap judgments on people and situations that you know nothing about, it’s a story of heartbreak, it’s a story of the consequences and joys of making impossible decisions, it’s a story of love, it’s a story of making a home even without four walls, it’s a story of starting over. This novel was beautiful, touching, and wise, and will stay with me for a while.

-Michelle

My Sister's Grave
Robert Dugoni
See in Catalog

3.5 Stars

Twenty years ago Tracy Crosswhite’s sister disappeared. While a trial occurred and a man is behind bars, Tracy has always felt that justice was never served and has been working, even becoming Seattle’s first female homicide detective, in a never ending quest for answers. When her sister’s body is finally discovered Tracy feels she is one step closer to the truth, but little does she know she is also much closer to danger. My Sister’s Grave is the first work in Dugoni’s now six book long series featuring Tracy Crosswhite and has created a cross between a police procedural and legal thriller. Dugoni richly develops his characters and while the story begins a bit slow, the pace picks up and provides a twisted, dark ending that will have readers on the edge of their seats and wanting to see what becomes of Tracy and friends in future books.

-Lesley

The Rules of Magic
Alice Hoffman
See in Catalog

5 Stars

Don’t skip this book because you think it’s about magic, it’s so much more. Pick up this book because it’s richly detailed by well-developed, introspective characters. While I would describe it as leisurely paced, I could not put it down, read it quickly, and was very moved when it was over. The Owens family pulled me in with their emotionally intense and engaging coming of age story. Don’t worry if you haven’t read Practical Magic, I promise you will want to though, you will not want the story of the Owens family to be over. “Know that the only remedy for love is to love more.”

-Michelle

Readers Advisory Staff

Looking for that great new read? The Villa Park Public Library has a fantastic Readers Advisory staff that is happy to recommend novels. Whether you’re looking for new authors like your old favorites, or you’re ready for something completely new, our RA staff is here to help. They run reading groups and book discussions to help make reading a more social experience. These folks know their stuff!

Looking for a Recommendation?

If you’re looking for a recommendation you can contact one of the readers advisory staff.

 

 

Denise
Favorite Genres:
Mysteries, Graphic Novels
Denise’s bookshelf on goodreads

Jean
Favorite Genres:
Romantic Suspense, Scifi-fantasy
Jean’s bookshelf on goodreads

 

Jawahir
Favorite Genres:

Historical Non-Fiction, Women’s Literature
Jawahir’s bookshelf on goodreads

John
Favorite Genres:
Alternate History Fiction, Suspense
John’s bookshelf on goodreads
kandice k

Kandice
Favorite Genres:

Chick Lit, Suspense, and Mysteries

lesley c

Lesley
Favorite Genres:

Mysteries, Audiobooks, History
Lesley’s bookshelf on goodreads

Michelle
Favorite Genres:

Historical Fiction, Psychological Thrillers
Michelle’s bookshelf on goodreads

sean_final

Sean
Favorite Genres:

True-life biographies, Non-fiction
Sean’s bookshelf on goodreads

Sandy
Favorite Genres:
Fantasy, Film

 

 

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