Fiction

100 Sideways Miles

By Andrew Smith
4
Rated by Kate M.
Oct 7, 2014

Finn Easton is like any other epileptic teenage boy with a famous author for a father who had a horse fall on him, break his back and kill his mother. Which is to say that Finn Easton is like no one you have ever met. The eerie resemblance between himself and the main character of his father’s best-selling book, has left Finn wondering if he is even real. Measuring time by the miles traveled by earth’s rotation, Finn has a different way of looking at things than anyone around him. Finn’s senior year brings opportunities to visit broken dams, see the world outside of California, kiss a girl, go

16 Things I Thought Were True

By Janet Gurtler
4
Rated by Peggy H.
Nov 10, 2014

Morgan measures her likeability by how many Twitter followers she has. Her goal is to reach 5000 and she is getting very close. If she has 5000 followers, she has to be likeable, right? Even if she doesn't have any real life friends, even if the father she's never known didn't like her enough to stick around and help raise her. She is currently tweeting about things she thought were true. For example, that working in an amusement park would be amusing (it's not), that heart disease happens to other people (how could HER mother be in the hospital with heart problems???), that rocking out to

A Girls Guide to Moving On

By Debbie Macomber
3
Rated by Lisa J.
Dec 22, 2015

Leanne and Nichole are unlikely friends and confidants. When Leanne learns that her son Jake is cheating on his wife Nichole, she is sorely disappointed to find her son following in his father's footsteps. Sean, Leanne's husband has been cheating on her for years and up to this point she has just accepted and ignored his infidelity. After telling Nichole of Jake's indiscretion she admires the way Nichole instantly refuses to accept Jake's behavior and immediately moves to dissolve their marriage. Leanne draws courage from Nichole and leaves her cheating husband of thirty years. The two women

A Hundred Pieces of Me

By Lucy Dillon
4
Rated by Colleen O.
Jan 28, 2015

A Hundred Pieces of Me is a bittersweet and inspiring story of loss, love, forgiveness, and finding what is important in life. Gina Bellamy has been through many struggles, and newly single, finds herself on her own. A divorcee and cancer survivor, Gina just wants to rebuild her life after her marriage falls apart. Starting from scratch in a tiny apartment, she decides to keep only one hundred things; one hundred pieces of herself. Dog-lovers will love the part that Buzz, Gina’s adopted rescue greyhound, plays in her path to healing. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
5
Rated by Becky C.
Feb 1, 2016

All American Boys is a big-issue book that also makes an excellent character study. Rashad, a sixteen-year-old African-American boy, is the victim of police brutality. Quinn, a sixteen-year-old white boy, is a witness to Rashad's beating. These two guys live in the same city and go to the same school. Quinn plays on the same basketball team as some of Rashad's friends. And yet they barely know each other. The story takes place during the week Rashad recuperates in the hospital. Quinn comes to terms with the fact that he saw the beating that put Rashad there--and that the police officer is his

All That's Left to Tell

By Daniel Lowe
5
Rated by Cheryl M.
Apr 2, 2017

Sometimes you begin a book, and you know after a few chapters that the book is "reading you" instead of you reading the book. It hits your core hard and churns stuff up, compelling you to turn pages. All That's Left to Tell is such a book, and it's Daniel Lowe's debut at that. From its first sentence to its last, it doesn't let go--making you question your own life and choices. Do we choose? Or does life choose for us? Is there a difference? What motivates a hostage? Or a kidnapper?


Marc and Claire are a father and a daughter. Josephine is both a truth-teller and a liar. Set in the chaotic

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr
4
Rated by Megan K.
Aug 8, 2016

Have you ever begun reading a book, and by the first few lines already accepted the fact that you probably will not sleep until the book is finished? All the Light We Cannot See is one of those books for me. I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction books, and this was no exception.


The city in which much of this story takes place- St. Malo, France- is such a beautiful place, and provides an excellent backdrop for many of the events in this book. The story centers around Marie, a sharply intelligent French girl, and Werner, a German boy with the unique talent of working with radios. The story

Almost Missed You

By Jessica Strawser
4
Rated by Colleen O.
Jul 25, 2017

When we meet Violet, she is on vacation, relaxing on the same beach where she first met her husband, Finn, and thinking about how lucky she is and how despite some obstacles she and Finn have ended up together. Everyone said it was fate that brought them together. So Violet is blindsided when she returns to their hotel room to discover that Finn has disappeared and taken their young son, Bear, with him.


What Violet didn't know is that she was the only person in their circle who didn't have a secret. Finn has secrets, Finn's best friend Caitlin has secrets that Finn uses to blackmail her

A Love Like Ours

By Becky Wade
3
Rated by Bre H.
Jan 13, 2016

Former Marine Jake Porter has PTSD symptoms, and the scar on his face is a constant reminder of his time at war. And one big reason he avoids any type of relationship. But along comes his childhood best friend, Lyndie James, with a heart as big as the sky. She is fiercely determined, and her experience with horses gives her an edge, but she has a tender heart.


Despite being leery about hiring Lyndie on at his horse ranch in Holley, Texas, Jake does. He pairs her with Silverleaf, a horse that has great potential but is lacking in motivation. Lyndie is eager to take the job head-on and solve

A Man Called Ove

By Fredrik Backman
5
Rated by Catherine G.
Feb 23, 2016

A Man Called Ove is one of those stories where you initially hate the main character but fall completely in love with him by the end of the book. Ove (pronounced ooh-va) is a sad, lonely, and grumpy older man. He believes everything should have a purpose, and one should always follow the rules. Ove does not believe in exceptions, he never smiles, he has zero tolerance for small talk, and he'll tell you to your face if he thinks you're ignorant. According to Ove, almost everyone is - especially if they don't drive a Saab. As you're listening to Ove complain about everyone and everything not

American Dirt

By Cummins, Jeanine
5
Rated by Lisa H
Jan 23, 2020

Listed as one of the top 10 most anticipated books of 2020 by Goodreads members, American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins tells the fictional story of Lydia and Luca, a mother and her young son, as they flee from Acapulco Mexico and attempt to cross the US border. Lydia’s journalist husband, Sebastian, publishes an expose about Javier, the head of the drug cartel, which causes all 16 members of their family to be brutally killed. Lydia is acquainted with Javier through her bookstore and knows she and her son were also supposed to die with the rest of her family. As Lydia and Luca journey north to

Amped

By Daniel H. Wilson
3
Rated by Helen H.
Jan 25, 2015

Remember that time your Dad told you the implant in your brain didn’t just control your seizures, but that it had “something extra”? Me neither. But it’s a day Owen Gray will never forget.


You see, Owen is a medical Amp. Amps have Neural Autofocus Brain Implants; Reggies have none. Doctors have been implanting people young and old for eight years to cure things like ADD, Downs Syndrome, and traumatic brain injury. These implants irreversibly change neural circuits, and some Reggies now claim Amps are less-than-human. Discrimination and targeted hate-crimes ensue. Add in a zealous Senator

May 16, 2017

Amy and her best friend Dee were kidnapped six years ago, but one day she returns home alone, unwilling to share anything about her experience, and she is desperate to protect her secrets no matter what. Nothing she does feels right when she tries to adjust back at home, she is a stranger in her own family. She feels guilty that she was the one to return. She soon realizes that keeping her secrets may just hurt the people she loves most. She has to go back so she can move forward, but she is risking everything.


Whoa. This book. What a powerful story. The beautiful writing does justice to

Analee, in Real Life

5
Rated by Julia B.
Feb 8, 2019

Analee in Real Life is about a teenage girl who recently lost her mother. Soon after, she loses her best friend as well. About the only friend she has is in an online game. His name is Harris, and she has a crush on him. So when the most popular boy in the school, Sebastian Matias asks her to pose as his girlfriend to make his ex jealous, she agrees.


This book is very relate able, for teens everywhere. Many kids have the same problems Analee does, and seeing someone else go through it helps. The reality of the book was refreshing because, although I was disappointed when Seb and Analee

Oct 6, 2009

When Charlie Nancy’s estranged father passes away, family secrets come tumbling out at the funeral. Disbelieving that he could possibly be the son of a god, Charlie inadvertently calls the brother he didn’t know he had into his life. Havoc ensues and Charlie must find a way to extricate himself from his brother while learning what it means to be the son of Anansi, the African and Caribbean trickster god. Adult fans of Harry Potter will enjoy the sudden revelation of a secret life and Charlie’s ensuing transformation. Fans of mythology might enjoy the interweaving of the traditional Anansi

And the Mountains Echoed

By Khaled Hosseini
4
Rated by Margaret O.
Nov 1, 2017

Fans of Khaled Hosseini’s earlier works will not be disappointed in this continuing story of a culture he knows well: the people of Afghanistan.


And the Mountains Echoed opens with a father telling a story from Iranian Mythology to his children. It's a story about a poor farmer who is forced to give up one of his beloved children to a div (evil giant), and it sets the stage for the emotional rollercoaster that follows. Each character lives with his own brand of misery and a heart-wrenching grief that ties them together. How much can any of us do to relieve the suffering of others? How much

Angelmaker

By Nick Harkaway
4
Rated by Hope H.
Feb 11, 2015

Over the top! There's just no better way to describe Angelmaker
The core plot is nothing new: A cautious lead character gets swept into a wild adventure that transforms him into a bold hero ... but with a lot more bells, whistles, and mechanical bees. It's a fun fantastical story, plus you get to figure out the connections among clockmakers, British secret intelligence, the gangster underground, elite craftsmen and plans to end the world as we know it. Take a gander at the book trailer. See what I mean?!
The ordinary Joe Spork is our hero, forced to intervene in a plot set to motion

An Imaginary Life

By David Malouf
5
Rated by Michelle H.
Feb 20, 2014

If ever there were an author who could squeeze the most meaning out of the least amount of writing, it is Australian author David Malouf. In a spare 150 pages, Malouf tells the story of an exiled Roman poet living among “barbarians” who discovers a boy alone in the wilderness.  He convinces the tribe’s leader to capture the boy so that he can teach him to live as a man.  The task is fraught with attacks from wives and grandmothers who believe the boy is possessed by an animal spirit that will infect their families. Infection occurs, but of what kind . . . and why?


Malouf is exceptional at

Anthem

By Ayn Rand
4
Rated by Jackie S.
Feb 17, 2018

In Anthem, Ayn Rand illustrates how society and individuals suffer under extremist rule. The characters are bound to one another, and assigned specific duties, with the intention of benefiting the collective. After Equality 7-2521 makes a discovery from an ancient time, he begins to work on something that is outside of his designated vocation. In a different society, where innovation is valued, his work would be praised when he brings it to the authorities. But instead, he is punished for thinking for himself and not sacrificing his own will and desires for the collective. Even though what he

Apple Tree Yard

By Louise Doughty
3
Rated by Heather B.
Jan 15, 2016

Yvonne Carmichael is a respected public authority on genetics. She's a middle-aged wife and mother. She's certainly normal, perhaps even boring. She is also accused of murder. How did such an unlikely turn of events come to pass? 


At the beginning of Apple Tree Yard, Yvonne is testifying before a Parliamentary committee when she meets the mysterious man she refers to as X. Without much forethought, and completely uncharacteristically (for her), Yvonne and X begin an affair. The affair is an exciting distraction from her settled routine, and X is so incredibly enigmatic that Yvonne deduces

Aug 8, 2017

Aristotle is angry. And wondering. And confused. Dante is laid back. And smart. And confused. These two boys, opposites, with nothing in common, begin to spend more time together, becoming fast friends. The friendship that they discover is the kind that has the power to morph and change lives - and lasts a lifetime. And Aristotle becomes sad - then happy. And realizes things. And Dante gets angry - then hurt. And realizes things. This is a remarkable coming-of-age novel about two Mexican-American boys as they battle through the uncertain, calamitous front of life.


Aristotle and Dante

A Room with a View

By E.M. Forster
4
Rated by Heather B.
May 13, 2017

I'm a regular reader of classic literature, and I've enjoyed Merchant-Ivory films based on E.M. Forster novels in the past, so I'm not sure why I had the impression that his work was stuffy. Imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing out loud while listening to the audiobook of A Room with a View--and actually describing it repeatedly to one of my friends as "hilarious." 


In the first half of the novel, Lucy and her Aunt Charlotte are visiting Florence, and their lives unwittingly become entangled with those of their fellow English travelers, particularly an unconventional father and

Arrowood

By Laura McHugh
4
Rated by LeeAnn B.
Sep 3, 2017

Arrowood is a grand mansion on the banks where the Des Moines River meets the Mississippi River. Arden Arrowood spent her childhood living in the family home until the tragic disappearance of her two-year old twin sisters drove her family to abandon the house. Now, almost 20 years later, Arden returns to  Arrowood and the memories of her childhood and her sisters. Will she finally be able to find out what happened on that fateful day so long ago?


Arrowood is an absorbing story with a strong lead character that holds your interest throughout. The sense of place (the mansion on the river and

Ask Again, Yes

By Mary Beth Keane
4
Rated by Megan K.
Sep 25, 2019

Attempting to understand the human experience, and dealing with the aftermath of tragedy is something to which all people can relate. Mary Beth Keane’s novel Ask Again, Yes explores this phenomenon through the Gleeson and Stanhope families- neighbors in a suburb of New York City. The reader is introduced to the parents of both families at the beginning of the novel, and walks through life with their youngest children, Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope. We see the way various characters react to experiences with marriage, mental health, love, betrayal, and forgiveness. I found myself struggling

A Small Indiscretion

By Jan Ellison
2
Rated by Helen H.
Aug 18, 2015

I’m not sure Ellison’s family drama with its slow reveal shouldn’t be called A Series of Significant Indiscretions, as there are so many. Both past and present. The true title, A Small Indiscretion, leads a reader to believe that our protagonist, Annie Black’s happiness is at risk by the revelation of a past mistake. But really, she and her family might have overcome any part of her past, if only she will behave as the adult she’s grown into instead of the nineteen year old self she fled from twenty years ago.


When we first meet Annie she is a young, single American working in a London

A Small Indiscretion

By Jan Ellison
3
Rated by Debbie L.
Feb 27, 2015

Mistakes made when Annie Black was a 20-year-old American living in London have come to haunt her decades later with very real, devastating consequences. Annie and those affected by her choices endure desire, love, rejection, and forgiveness as they work through the repercussions of choices made years ago. The novel flips back and forth between present-day events occurring in San Francisco and past events that occurred in Annie’s life while she was in Europe.  A melancholy, but enjoyable book. 

A Spark of Light

By Jodi Picoult
4
Rated by Lisa H
Jan 7, 2019

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult is a novel that grabs your attention and draws you in with the topic of abortion and all the controversy that surrounds it.  At an abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, one day all present are taken hostage and the reader slowly learns how all the random people that are there that day came to be at the clinic and how their past lives have intersected and made them who they are.


This book reads a bit unconventionally in that the first chapter begins at “5:00 pm”, the second chapter begins at “4:00 pm”, taking the reader back in time all the way to “8:00 am

Asterios Polyp

By David Mazzucchelli
5
Rated by Helen H.
Mar 21, 2014

Asterios Polyp is a self-assured, domineering, wind-bag of a paper architect. A paper architect being one “whose reputation rests on his designs, rather than on the buildings constructed from them. In fact, none of his designs had ever been built.”


When we meet Asterios, his Manhattan apartment, where he wallows in self-pity while riding out a mid-life crisis, has just burned to the ground. So he takes the last of his money, hops on a bus, and “give[s] up on the one thing [he] thought defined him.” And it “prove[s] to be a lot less difficult than [he] could have imagined.”


Asterious

A Sudden Light

By Garth Stein
4
Rated by Anonymous (not verified)
Dec 28, 2014

This is an interesting book by the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain. As with that book, the story is about a dysfunctional family. This time though, it is narrated by a young man instead of a dog. Trevor's parents are separated. His mother has returned to her homeland in England and his father to the palatial estate built many years ago by his great grandfather who was a logger baron. His parents decide he should spend the summer with his father, to help his father make amends with his family. The estate is on a beautiful hilltop overlooking Puget Sound in Seattle.  Nothing is normal in

A Time to Dance

By Padma Venkatraman
4
Rated by Peggy H.
Mar 5, 2015

Veda lives in India and is a classical (Bharatanatyam) dancer. She lives and breathes dance, has for as long as she can remember. She plans to make dancing her career, despite her mother continually pushing her toward engineering. She is amazingly talented and has just won first place in a major competition. After the competition, the bus taking the competitors back home crashes. She wakes in the hospital with her right leg missing below the knee. Talk about a strong female protagonist! This girl simply will not give up! She is determined to dance again with her artificial leg, even when her