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Book Reviews

The Paris Seamstress
Natasha Lester
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4 Stars

The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester

Taking the reader on a compelling journey, this nonlinear and plot driven historical fiction novel is centered on the fashion industry in the 1940’s and 2015.  A heart wrenching, yet hopeful story, about family and the secrets that are sometimes needed in order to survive features strong female characters that are both courageous and well-developed.   Set in both Europe and the United States, pick up this beautiful novel and get swept away.

-Michelle
Posted 2/15/19

Station Eleven
Emily St. John Mandel
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4.5 stars

What an experience.  Station Eleven is leisurely paced, nonlinear and beautifully written.  A richly detailed, post-apocalyptic novel follows five characters as their lives overlap before, during and after a viral pandemic ends civilization as they know it. Filled with believable characters, the author gives us a haunting and compelling look at what it means to survive, the new meaning of humanity, and deciding to find beauty in the face of collapse.  A great read that will totally absorb the reader.

-Michelle

Posted 1/9/19

Bird Box
Josh Malerman
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4 Stars

Without ever opening her eyes outside the safe walls of her house, Malorie navigates a post-apocalyptic and terrifying world.  An intensifying novel with a menacing and suspenseful tone, Malorie and her 4 year old children are running from an enemy they will never see.  A disturbing yet hopeful novel, Bird Box, will keep you on the edge of your seat.

-Michelle

Re-posted 1/9/2019

Lethal White
Robert Galbraith
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Audiobook: Hachette Audio, 19 CDs (22 hours 30 minutes), Unabridged. Read by Robert Glenister.

4.5 Stars

J.K. Rowling, using the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, returns with this fourth work in the Cormoran Strike series. When a troubled man comes to Strike insisting he had seen a murder as a child, there is something about his plea that Strike can not ignore. His investigation into the alleged murder takes Strike and his partner Robin, on a trail that includes blackmail, undercover operations, and ministry officials. Robert Glenister returns to continue his narration of the series, with a wide array of voices and the perfect gruff representation of Strike. Rowling’s ability to present a rich plot and excellently executed characters that never compete with each other is remarkable and proof she is clearly well suited for the adult mystery genre. A book and a series not to be missed!

-Lesley

The Immortalists
Chloe Benjamin
Find in Catalog

3 Stars

Is the future set in stone or can it be re-written?  The Gold children are faced with this impossible question in this story about life choices in the face of what they believe are their futures.  A leisurely paced fiction novel that is broken up into four character driven parts, each dedicated to one of the siblings is both bittersweet and haunting. It’s also a story about family dynamics, forgiveness and the strength to live life to the fullest.

-Michelle

Stay with Me
Ayobami Adebayo
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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
Find in Catalog

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

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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