Romance

Aug 27, 2020

Fangirl is a 2013 young adult novel written by Rainbow Rowell. Rowell is also known for Eleanor & Park (2012) and Carry On (2015). Fangirl is her second published work. The book focuses on Cath, a college freshman, as she transitions to living on her own for the first time. Cath, who is very introverted, expects to live in a dorm with her twin sister, Wren. But her plan for college changes when Wren decides not to share a dorm with Cath. Instead, Wren wishes to live an independent life away from her sister. Cath has to navigate college on her own. Fangirl is a great example of how many changes

Batwoman's face

The Many Arms of Death

By Marguerite Bennett
3
Rated by Anne G
Aug 13, 2020

     Steve Epting's art in comics and graphic novels is fantastic.  Eptig is able to give Batwoman: The Many Arms of Death a classic feel with modern sensibilities, as he has with other superhero comics.  


     We are introduced to Kate (Batwoman) and her lost year where she spent time on an island full of degenerates, with her lover keeping the peace.  Now she returns while tracking down some arms dealers who are selling the biological weapon the monster man serum.  My biggest complaint is that we do not really get enough backstory to care about or know who some of these characters are

May 18, 2020

For Lydia Bird, love can overcome anything, even death.  


When Lydia's fiance, Freddie Hunter, is tragically killed in a car accident she cannot imagine life moving on without him. Unable to sleep, her mum finds a doctor who is conducting trials on a new sleeping pill. This magical pink pill allows Lydia to fall asleep and jump back into her old life with Freddie. Her dream life with Freddie is continuing on without her.  


New things are happening to the couple and the people around them. Trying to juggle these two worlds is overwhelming and difficult at first. However, Lydia cannot

Love Her or Lose Her

By Tessa Bailey
3
Rated by Debbie F.
Mar 26, 2020

Rosie and Dominic Vega have always seemed the perfect couple. They both had dreams stemming from their childhood. Rosie's dreams were to own a restaurant and fulfill her Cuban legacy. Dom hoped to be half the man his own father was to his mother. However, after a tour to Afghanistan, Dominic returns and Rosie feels as if the man she knew never came back. While she is busy at her lackluster job as a perfume specialist, Dominic works hard in construction, secretly saving money for a dream he believes both he and Rosie share. However, their lack of communication makes Rosie feel as if their

Outlander, Season 1, Volume 2

By Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
5
Rated by Becky C.
Dec 2, 2019

When my friends started raving about the TV series, Outlander, I was more, meh. It sounds a bit outlandish, frankly. A twenty-something combat nurse from England finishes her tour of duty in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. On vacation in the Scottish Highlands with a husband she barely knows, after having been separated for five years during the war, she gets sucked back in time to the 18th century. Great. Another military conflict. Only this time, being English, she's on the side of the occupier in occupied lands. She eventually falls in love with a hunky (and educated, and

Aug 29, 2019

“I don’t mean to bother you,” the question usually begins, “but I’m looking for my next book, and I just don’t know what I want to read.” Honestly, that question is one of our favorites to get in days that are often filled with new card sign-ups and telling people where the restroom is.


The most challenging requests are usually from voracious readers because, well, they’ve read most of the usual culprits already. And while sometimes we magically have the perfect title stashed in our figurative back pocket for just such an occasion, even our magic runs out sometimes. For those situations, we

Aug 14, 2019

August is Read-a-Romance month. Do yourself a favor and check out what the genre has to offer and what it has been up to lately. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.


The Romance genre has made a huge comeback, for me, recently. There are just so many great titles being released and I cannot resist their beautiful, colorful, happy covers. I took a break from reading romances because the love story lines and happily ever after endings got a little boring for me. I switched to dark mysteries, thrillers, and literary fiction for a long time. This past fall and spring so many titles

May 13, 2019

Nick and June Were Here is about two young lovers that both have very different back stories. Nick has a history of stealing cars and getting arrested, and June is just your normal girl who stays out of trouble. But then these crazy things start happening to June causing her to go to a hospital, and she is diagnosed with schizophrenia: she hears and sees things other people don't.


I love the cover! I think the cover is very aesthetic and eye appealing. I love how each chapter is either June's or Nick's perspective, and you get to hear both of their sides on things. I was not disappointed

Izzy + Tristan

4
Rated by Julia B.
Apr 1, 2019

This modern take on a centuries-old story is a delightful mixture of light-heartedness and surprisingly insightful commentary that leaves an unexpected mark on the reader. There is both humor and sweet romance that electrifies the fast-paced plot. The witty personalities of Izzy and Tristan against the Brooklyn setting provide interesting insight on the difficulties of teenage years, especially when love is involved. The addition of third narrator, Brianna, brought a refreshing outsider's view to the love story that sets this novel apart from its genre.


This book has quite a few cliches in

You Asked for Perfect

4
Rated by Julia B.
Apr 1, 2019

Ariel Stone is the epitome of a perfect student: he takes AP classes, volunteers, and plays first chair in the school orchestra. However, when his classes start to push him past his breaking point, he finds that sacrificing his health and relationships isn't giving him the same satisfaction and results it once did.


Ariel was such a relatable character that helped me realize the importance of placing one’s mental health over work and school. Ariel’s story is a fantastic reminder and warning to high-achieving students of what can happen when you do not take the time to focus on one’s mental

Kiss Number 8

4
Rated by Julia B.
Mar 12, 2019

Kiss Number 8 tells us about all of the kisses that Mads (the main character) has had so far in her life. The book leads up to her kiss number eight. After that, the book continues to tell us how her life dramatically changed after kiss number eight. The most compelling aspect was how after she kissed one of her good friends that was a girl, and all her friends suddenly stopped hanging around her. I was never disappointed, and I thought this book was very good at connecting with teens.

Awake in the World

5
Rated by Julia B.
Feb 12, 2019

Zach Mays is notorious for having the worst luck in Orilly, a small oil town. His father has died and left him and his older brother to care for the family. Zach is lost trying to put his bleak life together until Vanessa, a confident, radiant girl who's planned her whole future, comes into his world.


I absolutely loved this book! The way that the love between Zach and Vanessa is portrayed in such a sweet, mild way is truly irresistible.The most compelling aspect of the book is the amazing character development that the author portrays throughout the whole story. It really makes you deeply

Five Feet Apart

4
Rated by Julia B.
Feb 4, 2019

A beautiful and compelling story. The book is about two inseparable teens who suffer from cystic fibrosis, and they long to touch each other, but they must stay the dreaded six feet apart at all times, because two people with cystic fibrosis can not go closer then that. They can't even get a few feet closer without risking their lives. The perfect story for anyone who likes a spinning romance with loving characters, and an exciting but emotional plot. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down! I even skipped my dinner that day just so I wouldn't have to stop reading!


I think the

Dec 14, 2018

 


An Extraordinary Union is a historical romance set during the turbulent American Civil War. The heroine is spunky Elle Burns, a former slave with an eidetic memory who becomes a detective for the Union through the Loyal League, a society of freed and enslaved blacks with networks across the country to funnel intelligence to the North. Her latest assignment is to pose as a mute slave in Richmond, Virginia in the household of Confederate Senator Caffrey. The hero is Malcolm McCall, a Scottish born detective for Pinkerton, also assigned to gather intelligence from the Caffrey household

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

By Mariana Zapata
5
Rated by Shannon G
Oct 8, 2018

I've reread Mariana Zapata's The Wall of Winnipeg and Me more times than I could count and I've laughed out loud every single time. This quirky romantic comedy tells the story of Vanessa, the ex-assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to Aiden, the top defensive end of the National Football Organization. For the two years that Vanessa worked for the man known as "The Wall of Winnipeg," he lived and breathed football, leaving no room for common decency or polite human interaction with Vanessa. Now? Now, he’s asking for the unthinkable and she can’t believe she’s actually considering his offer.

Aug 13, 2018

Jonny has been waiting for years to receive a heart. But when finally a donor is a found, but for Jonny's life to start, someone's has to end. That someone is Neve's brother Leo. While he was alive, Neve wanted nothing more than to be rid of him, but after his tragic crash, she has no idea how to move on. But then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, with her brother's heart in his chest, everything starts to change.


This book was very well written, but the romance was terrible. It was cringe-worthy, just so predictable and annoying. The thing is, I enjoyed the concept but not the

Our souls At Night

By Kent Haruf
4
Rated by Melody M.K.
Aug 10, 2018

I just loved Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf.


Set in a small town in Colorado during a current time period, this book kept me think about the situation that Addie Moore, a lonely widow, and Louis Waters, a widower have found themselves in. Being old and living alone can be very lonely.


What would I do if in my later years I became widowed and tried to have a relationship with a man my age?  Would my children try to direct my life? Role reversal between parent and children is a real problem when the parents don’t need to be parented.


But it's not all sad. It is also very happy when

Hate to Want You

By Alisha Rai
5
Rated by Hebah A.H.
Jun 29, 2018

I think I would have come around to romance novels years earlier if I had only realized how much angst could precede the genre's requisite happy endings. Hate To Want You nailed both angst and satisfaction.


This steamy tale follows Livvy and Nicholas, once-lovers separated by family disapproval and time, who find that years of miscommunications and misunderstandings loom as large as ever . . . but so does the sizzling chemistry between them. I started out feeling somewhat lukewarm toward the characters but had heard enough praise of Alisha Rai's books to keep me going. I was a little afraid

Jun 21, 2018

Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe were once inseparable at Camp Okahatchee. But now two years later, they have grown apart and their bond has faded. That is until the flash of a photo booth camera transports them back in time, to the summer when they were 15, the summer when everything changed. Now, the girls have to recreate the past so they can return to the future. But as they relive their summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels and a dark secret threatens to tear them apart all over again.


This was a contemporary time-travel/ do-over story, with an unexpected ending. I expected

Jun 8, 2018

When Summer makes a split second decision before boarding a plane, her summer divides into 2 parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she has dreamed of going ever since her father left her to move there. In the other, she stays home in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue. In both summers, she is destined to fall in love, and discover new sides to herself. But what might break her though, is a terrible family secret that she can’t hide from. But in the end, it might be the truth she needs the most.


This was cute! I would have liked more

The Light We Lost

By Santopolo, Jill
4
Rated by Kari E.
Mar 19, 2018

Lucy Clark meets Gabe Samson in a Shakespeare class on September 11th. The pair spend the day together anxiously watching the news and later viewing the holes in the skyline where the Twin Towers once stood. This day shapes their lives. After a turbulent year apart, the couple reunites and begins dating. Their idyllic love is passionate, deep, and all consuming. But their careers pull them apart. Lucy wants to stay in New York working on a children's television show. Gabe wants his photography to show the world the Iraq War. The Light We Lost is Lucy and Gabe's love story and the story of life

The Light We Lost

By Santopolo, Jill
4
Rated by Kari E.
Mar 11, 2018

Lucy Clark meets Gabe Samson in a Shakespeare class on September 11th. The pair spend the day together anxiously watching the news and later viewing the holes in the skyline where the Twin Towers once stood. This day shapes their lives. After a turbulent year apart, the couple reunites and begins dating. Their idyllic love is passionate, deep, and all consuming. But their careers pull them apart. Lucy wants to stay in New York working on a children's television show. Gabe wants his photography to show the world the Iraq War. The Light We Lost is Lucy and Gabe's love story and the story of life

Song to Song (DVD)

By Terrence Malick
4
Rated by Zachary C
Dec 12, 2017

The term "visual poem" gets thrown around a lot when describing Terrence Malick's most recent work, starting with 2011's Tree of Life. Even before then his films relied heavily on visuals to help tell the story, but his work increasingly favors beautiful imagery and strives towards creating feelings and moods more so than a continuous narrative thread. Thus, dialogue is intermittent and often jumps around. I can certainly see why this might not appeal to people. That being said, Song to Song is my favorite of Terrence Malick's recent "visual poems," and my favorite film of his since 2005's The

Heroes Are My Weakness (Audiobook)

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
5
Rated by Amanda H.
Oct 15, 2017

I put off reading Heroes Are My Weakness for a long time. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorite authors, and for years her contemporaries were the only time I ventured outside of historical romances, but this gothic-inspired standalone got lackluster reviews when it first came out and many fans lamented its darker tone compared to her usual zany, fun style. Once I started it in preparation for listening to her next book, though, I found the same spirit of ridonkulous humor, addictive storytelling, and endearing characters that I love about all her books.


Annie Hewitt is a down-on

Because I'm Watching

By Christina Dodd
3
Rated by Traci M.
Oct 7, 2017

Jacob Denisov sits alone in his darkened home, waiting for death. Torture at the hands of North Koreans has left him with little will to survive. Surprisingly, death does not come when a car crashes into his house, landing just inches from Jacob. For Maddie Hewitson, driving into a house is just the latest episode of odd behavior she has experienced since coming to Virtue Falls, Washington. For Maddie and Jacob, this first meeting is the spark that will allow them both to heal and discover new life and love together.


Because I’m Watching seventh in the Virtue Falls series of romantic

Table 19 (DVD)

By Jeffrey Blitz
3
Rated by Traci M.
Sep 7, 2017

Why must movie trailers be so misleading? There have been many a movie where the finished product seems completely different from what the trailer hyped it to be. Like a comedy that is not that funny because the trailer gave away the only two humorous parts of the entire film.


After viewing the trailer of Table 19, I popped in the DVD expecting a romantic comedy. A girl meets a guy while at the wedding of her ex-boyfriend’s sister. She’s seated at the worst table but it’s filled with quirky characters who have laugh out loud hijinks. That’s not the movie I got.


Anna Kendrick’s Eloise has

Circling the Sun

By Paula McLain
4
Rated by Jed D.
Aug 30, 2017

Let’s get this out of the way first: while Circling the Sun is about Beryl Markham, famed aviator of the 1920’s, there are barely two chapters about her adventures as a pilot. What happens between the passages about flying is a compelling historical novel about a young English girl who is abandoned by her mother in Kenya and who eventually wins respect in the male-dominated worlds of horse training and aviation. 


The Spring Hill book discussion group found the love triangle exhausting, but Markham's escapades in the Kenyan bush involving lions, elephants, and colonial politics make it a

Come Sundown

By Nora Roberts
4
Rated by Traci M.
Aug 6, 2017

Bodine Longbow is a fourth-generation Montana rancher and operator of the Bodine Resort. The ranch and resort are definitely a family affair with her great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, father and brothers all working together. Callen Skinner has returned home to Montana to reconnect with his family, both biological and honorary. Growing up, Callen spent a lot of time on the Bodine ranch and never imagined he'd end up finding love with the girl next door.


The mystery and suspense develop as the past and present collide. Alice Bodine, the aunt Bodine never knew, ran away from home over

Aug 2, 2017

My Boyfriends’ Dogs begins with Bailey Daley running through the rain in a wedding dress. She’s drenched and has three dogs in tow. Hoping to get out of the rain she ducks into a diner, where she meets the restaurant owners, Louis and Nikki. She then spends the evening explaining to them how she acquired each pup.


Adam, a typically charming golden retriever; Eve, a shih tzu; and Shirley, a dalmatian, are special. Each has been adopted from an ex-boyfriend and each mirrors the man who had owned them.


With a new job teaching high school literature, and new dream home, Bailey has been

Virgin River

By Robyn Carr
4
Rated by Traci M.
Jul 30, 2017

I am a re-reader. Whether I’m in a reading funk, or waiting for an author’s new release, I would rather pick up a book I’ve read before than take a chance on something new. I don’t know if it’s the comfort of knowing what’s going to happen or the chance to revisit favorite characters that appeals to me, but this habit tends to get me in trouble when I’m trying to weed my book collection.


I recently read an article on re-reading that suggested listening to the audio version of a book you previously read. I’ve never been a big audio listener, especially in fiction, so I decided to give it a