Reviews by Category: Fiction

Staff Review

Wolf in White Van

By John Darnielle
5
Rated by Michelle H.
Jul 16, 2015

John Darnielle’s second book is about the space between two separate worlds – the one we live in and the one we think we live in. It’s a place where aspirations are born, where imagination develops . . . also where great loneliness lives.

Staff Review

Sex & Violence

By Carrie Mesrobian
5
Rated by Chris K.
Jun 1, 2015

While it certainly contains the titular activities, this book isn't nearly as sensationalistic as its title might imply. More than anything, Sex & Violence is a fantastically-voiced, layered character study. The description "layered" applies to narrator-protagonist Evan, the other characters in the book, and their relationships; and it applies to the meanings of, manifestations of, and connections between sex and violence that Evan gradually comes to grasp in unstated, embodied ways.

Staff Review

Jellicoe Road

By Melina Marchetta
5
Rated by Peggy H.
Apr 13, 2015

I know this is a somewhat older title with a copyright of 2006, but I missed it back then and every year since. Why? Why did I wait SO long to read it? And why can I only give it five stars? I want to give it ten on scale of one to five!

Staff Review

The Alex Crow

By Andrew Smith
4
Rated by Kate M.
Apr 8, 2015

Camp Merrie-Seymour for Boys is the home to Ariel and Max for the summer. Six weeks without technology, living in the Jupiter cabin (all the cabins are named for planets) they quickly realize they are different from everyone else at camp. Sent there not to overcome their addiction to technology (the advertise goal of the camp) Max and Ariel are there because their father works for Merrie-Seymour and camp tuition is free for employees. The only ones not obsessed with getting a sweet taste of the internet, the boys of Jupiter quickly begin to win the cabin competition.

Staff Review

Noggin

By John Corey Whaley
4
Rated by Chris K.
Mar 26, 2015

There is no delicate way to tell a person that he is holding a container full of the incinerated remains of his own body.

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"Grow apart." So often, when two people are asked to explain why their relationship has changed and isn't working out, at least one of them will say that they have simply grown apart. They have grown in different ways so that they have less connection and less in common than they once did. Sometimes it's not so much a matter of growing in different directions as growing at different rates.

Staff Review

The Only Thing to Fear

By Caroline Tung Richmond
4
Rated by Kate M.
Mar 26, 2015

Eighty years after German super-soldiers crushed the Allied forces in World War II, Zara works as a maid at a Nazi cadet academy in the Easter American Territories. Zara can't escape the Nazi's constant obsession with the Aryan ideal, with a Japanese father and American mother she doesn't fit in with the occupying forces. Although she can't hide her lineage she can hide another genetic gift from her father, the ability to control wind. If the Fuhrer knew about her ability, she would be eradicated. 

Staff Review Mar 25, 2015

Now Charlie’s dead and I’m here in the kitchen—on my way to school, and then to work. It’s my senior year and I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. I am motherless, and in the last year, I lost my best friend twice, fell in love with a guy I shouldn’t have (twice), got beat up by a skinhead Nazi, and had things thrown at me, including beer cans, money, and dog shit.

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I quietly hoped it would all go away and sent my old PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ signals into the atmosphere.

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