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Book Reviews

Howl's Moving Castle
Diana Wynne Jones
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5 Stars

Howl’s Moving Castle is a wonderful, offbeat fantasy novel with a bit of romance. The world-building is fantastic, the characters are flawed and complex, and the story is compelling. Sophie is resigned to life as an apprentice in her family’s hat shop, when a witch comes in one day and casts a spell on her–turning her into an old woman. Knowing she can’t stay where she is, Sophie leaves town and winds up in the castle of Wizard Howl who is said to eat young women’s hearts. If you enjoyed Tales from Earthsea, Graceling, or A Court of Thorns and Roses, you might like this book.

-Julie P.

Hurt Go Happy
Ginny Rorby
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3 Stars

Joey became deaf at the age of six and yearns to learn ASL, but her mother won’t allow it. One day Joey meets a neighbor and his chimpanzee, and begins to learn to sign. This is a heartwarming book about a girl wanting to express herself and communicate with others.

-Laura

And the Ocean Was Our Sky
Patrick Ness
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4 Stars

And The Ocean Was Our Sky is a thought-provoking tale of fate and revenge inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Bathsheba and her pod live only for the hunt. Led by Captain Alexandra, they fight in the ongoing war against the world of men, sinking ship after ship—until they find the trail of a devil. The story that follows is haunting and reflective. Rovina Cai’s illustrations are beautiful and change with the tone and plot of the story—from delicate and atmospheric to rough-edged and impressionistic. If you enjoyed The Falconer, I Am Apache, White Fang, or A Monster Calls, you might like this book.

-Julie P.

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Sarah J. Maas
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4 Stars

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a fantasy book (the first in a series of the same title) about Feyre Archeron, a human girl who unknowingly murders a faerie, and consequently must either forfeit her own life or leave behind everyone and everything she knows to live in Prythian. If you like your fantasy books to have a little bit of mystery and romance along with your epic, action-packed adventure, you might enjoy this book. Readers who liked The Iron King, Throne of Glass, and Snow Like Ashes have also liked this book.

-Julie P.

Hunger: A Tale of Courage
Donna Jo Napoli
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3 Stars

This tale highlights Ireland’s potato famine from 1846 to 1847, and follows Lorraine and her family of tenant farmers. They depend on their potato crop to feed their family, but when it comes up rotten there is little to eat. They must find the strength to keep going, even when it seems hopeless. In this intense story, you are placed right in the heart of the time period and shown how devastating the potato famine really was.

-Laura

Grave Mercy
Robin LaFevers
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3 Stars

Grave Mercy, the first book in the His Fair Assassin series, is a suspenseful, plot-driven fantasy with plenty of political intrigue—and a little bit of romance. Ismae is a survivor. In order to escape a life that promised only abuse, she flees to a convent where she learns that she has been blessed by the god of death, and begins training as an assassin so that she might carry out the will of St. Mortain. For a while, things seem simple—until she meets Gavriel and enters into a deadly game where only she can decide who to trust. If you enjoyed The Poison Throne, Shadow and Bone, or Assassin’s Heart, you might like this book.

-Julie P.

Feed
M.T. Anderson
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Audiobook: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group Listening Library (5 hours), Unabridged. Read by David Aaron Baker.

For Overdrive audio download: click here.

 

4 Stars

Wow. Feed is a novel set in the future where chip implants give you a “feed” in your brain…constantly. No more hand held devices, everything is built into your body. The main characters are angst-filled teens, however they have depth in what appears to be shallow and quirky lives. The novel is emotionally intense at times, disturbing because of the startling future prediction of biological computers, all with a bittersweet and haunting teen romance twist that is intertwined with the Feed. It’s one of those stories that doesn’t seem that far fetched as a possible future; I’m going to be thinking about this one for a while.  I started reading this in print form and couldn’t get into it, so switched to the audio, so glad I did, it made the whole book! It is a dialog filled story, and the audio really lent itself to the format perfectly. I highly recommend the audio if you’re going to read this.

-Michelle

 

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