Reviews

Staff Review Oct 24, 2022

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce the winners of our Scary Story Youth Writing Contest. "Counting Candy" by Scarlet He won in the 11 and under age category.

 

Counting Candy

by Scarlet He

“C’mon, we should be heading back to the house now, Gabby.”

“Alright, Walterson, let’s go then.”

Staff Review Oct 24, 2022

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce the winners of our Scary Story Youth Writing Contest. "The Rules" by Lara Blanton won in the 15-19 category.

 

The Rules

By Lara Blanton

 

Rule #1: When entering Grandfather’s house, never look the door knocker in the eyes, that will only anger it.

 

Staff Review
Cover reads "Hester: A Novel" and "Laurie Lico Albanese." The words are surrounded by deep pink roses, tiny white flowers, and foliage.

Hester

By Laurie Lico Albanese
4
Rated by AliceP
Oct 17, 2022

Witch trials are already a thing of the past in this historical novel set in Salem, Massachusetts during the lifetime of Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter. Witch trials are over; but their memory lives on in Hawthorne’s nineteenth century, with tensions lingering amongst the old Salem families and Hawthorne himself bearing ancestral guilt over his own great-great-grandfather's role in sentencing accused women to death more than a century earlier.

Staff Review Oct 14, 2022

It was only this week I finished watching the first season of Ted Lasso. I'm arriving late to the show, but am loving it as much as expected--from both all the praise it's received and the little I knew about its premise. One of the areas it's exceeded my expectations is Ted's approach to coaching. In case you don't know, Ted is a top American football coach who takes a job as a British football (soccer) coach.

Teen Review
Princess in a white dress holding a mask

Aurelia

By Osterlund, Anne
4
Rated by Anne G
Oct 3, 2022

I can't believe I waited so long to read this teenage romance. This is a fantastic high fantasy about a teenage girl, but you can tell this is the author's debut book. I have confidence Osterlund will do wonderful things with the rest of this trilogy. I had a great time reading the fast-paced story. I want to see what she can do with the romantic tone when she has a little time under her belt.

I adore the character Aurelia. She is the type of woman of steel I always imagined a princess would be. Her blended family situation came across cleanly, with just a little violence.

Staff Review Sep 30, 2022

We all have secrets, but some people are better at hiding them. Mari learns this firsthand when she accepts an offer to professionally photograph Yanagi Inn in Kyoto, Japan. She grew up in Japan before her parents split up and her mother moved Mari and her sister to the United States. Upon her return, she adjusts to the familiar culture of her childhood and initially enjoys exploring the grounds of the inn, especially photographing the overgrown garden. However, supernatural elements soon reveal secrets from the inn's history that touch upon her own past.

Staff Review
blonde bearded man in ball cap and blue shirt with baby in a backpack holding a feather

Oceans of Possibility Writing Contest Winner

By Ian James Fannin-Hughes
5
Rated by Helen H.
Sep 17, 2022

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Ian James Fannin-Hughes has won our writing contest on the theme of Oceans of Possibility with his piece "All You Wanted Was the Ocean."

Ian is an environmental scientist, grower of too much okra, father of human children, and an aspiring fiction writer from the Kansas side of the Blue River Watershed.

All You Wanted Was the Ocean

You wouldn't shut up about the ocean, either of you.

Staff Review
The spaceship The Hangman's Daughter over a sun

The Bastard Legion

By Gavin Smith
4
Rated by Anne G
Sep 14, 2022

The Bastard Legion is an action-packed thrill-ride into space warfare.  Gavin Smith stays in the very top tier of science fiction writers with his future mercenaries.  When I first saw the back of the book, I thought this military science fiction sounds like Suicide Squad.  And I was right - it even has a science fiction Australian guy with a killer boomerang.  The next question: is this space opera more like the mess of the movie or the well-crafted graphic novels?  

Teen Review
Back of a princess as she moves through the castle garden

Entwined

By Wallwork, Heather Dixon
4
Rated by Anne G
Sep 6, 2022

Entwined is a fairy-tale inspired fiction of the story The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It's a suspenseful retelling. If I'm honest, the folktale that inspired this fantasy fiction was never been one of my favorites. This author manages to take a rather thin story and turn it into something interesting with a hero that is a strong woman of steel! This atmospheric version is my favorite retelling.