Just in time for Christmas — new books in the Learning Commons

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

 

The Mask by Eric HowlingImage result for maple leaf

 

Shoot the Moon by Kate Watson

 

 

 

 

In the Buff by Vicki GrantImage result for maple leaf

 

The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith

 

 

Wildfire by Deb LougheadImage result for maple leaf

 

 

 

Sea of Shadows by Kelley ArmstrongImage result for maple leaf

 

Empire of Night by Kelley ArmstrongImage result for maple leaf

 

Forest of Ruin by Kelley ArmstrongImage result for maple leaf

 

Children of Blood and Bone

They killed my mother.  They took our magic.  They tried to bury us.  Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

This book didn’t appeal to me because of the title and also because it was a fantasy but once I started reading I was completely drawn in.  It is a great book with lots of action right from page one. It is told from the perspective of the four main characters so you get to know each of them well.  Although the book is a fantasy it’s main theme if very much a fact of life – how many are discriminated against and the losses they endure.

New and Exciting Reads

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

 

All We Ever Wanted – Emily Giffin

 

How They Croaked – Georgia Bragg

 

 

Bang – Barry Lyga

 

White Rabbit – Caleb Roehrig

 

Call The Shots – Don CalameImage result for maple leaf

 

 

 

Refugee – Alan Gratz

 

A World Below – Wesley King

Prince of Pot

Isaac loves art class, drives an old pickup, argues with his father and hangs out with his best buddy, Hazel. But his life is anything but normal. His parents operate an illegal marijuana grow-op, Hazel is a bear that guards the property, and his family’s livelihood is a deep secret.

It’s no time to fall in love with the daughter of a cop.

Isaac’s girlfriend Sam is unpredictable, ambitious and needy. And as his final year of high school comes to an end, she makes him consider a new kind of life pursuing his interest in art, even if that means leaving behind his beloved home in the Rockies and severing all ties with his family.

this was a great book.  Easy to read and quite action packed. The characters and their issues are very relatable even if the story line is maybe a bit of a stretch.

Escape From Syria

When the family home in Aleppo is destroyed by a government-led bomb strike, Walid has no choice but to take his wife and children and flee their war-torn and much loved homeland. They struggle to survive in the wretched refugee camps of Lebanon, and when Youssef becomes fatally ill as a result of the poor hygienic conditions, his father is forced to take great personal risk to save his family.

Walid’s daughter, the young Amina, a whip-smart grade-A student, tells the story. As she witnesses firsthand the harsh realities that her family must endure if they are to survive — swindling smugglers, treacherous ocean crossings, and jihadist militias — she is forced to grow up very quickly in order to help her parents and brother.

This book gives a very short, almost abrupt, version of what occurred in Syria.  Some may enjoy this, I personally found it lacking. I would enjoy much more description and historical content. I found it to be very condensed, vague, choppy and jumpy.

 

History is All You Left Me

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

This book is written with chapters alternating from the present to history.  It’s deals with many different issues – mental health, LGBTQ, death – making this a very timely read. I quite enjoyed this book and feel it is a good read for all.

Goodbye Days

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Wow, just wow.  This book is amazing, it hits right in the heart.  The story of four friends, three killed in an accident and the fourth feeling he is to blame.  Throughout the story there are flashbacks to the four together so we get to know them as a group.  We also see the raw emotions of those that are left behind. It is a grim reminder of why texting while driving is such a bad thing.  And I’m not gonna lie, this book invoked tears from me on more than one occasion. It is a MUST READ.

The Dead House

Three students: dead. 
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace. 
Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.” 

Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson. 

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it. 

I had a bit of trouble getting into this book but, wow, once in….  So many questions – what happened to their parents, who is the girl, where is Juliet, what is the incident…. But no I am not going to answer any of them for you, you will just have to read the book yourself.  Yes, this book sucked me in but midway through the “witchcraft/voodoo” stuff did get a little tedious and I had the Shyan figured out long before Kaitlyn did. That being said I still wanted to know all the answers to my many questions so I kept reading, and I did get answers.  So if you like books that are a little twisted this one is for you.

The Hate U Give

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

I had a tough time when I started reading this book due to the African American vernacular in which it is written but a few chapters in I didn’t notice it anymore.  This book gives a first hand look into life in the ghetto, what is is like to live in a world filled with drugs and gangs. You see how racism can result in life changing events that perpetuate the distrust on both sides.  This is an easy read with a good message and will be an eye opener for many.