Romance

Nov 18, 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing ​by Delia Owens is a fiction novel about a girl named Kya Clark and the townspeople living in Barkley Cove, a small North Carolina coast town. The novel alternates between two different timelines: one following Kya throughout her childhood, and the other detailing the progression of a murder investigation in Barkley Cove. As a child, Kya is left to fend for herself living in her family’s shack located in a marsh on the outskirts of the coast town. She loves the marsh environment around her and finds comfort in nature. However, when she starts attracting the attention of

Nov 12, 2020

Emma Woodhouse is a coding genius who appreciates numbers more than most people; numbers were simple and easy while people were just messy and over-complex. When her sister sparks an idea, Emma decides to build on a code that would determine the person of best compatibility to date as a submission to a coding competition. While some were skeptical at first, who could believe a code could tell you the best person to date, Emma was certain that her code was flawless. But after Emma runs into a few complications, breakups, cruel bets, betrayal, and not to mention a weird warm feeling every time

Nov 3, 2020

Midnight Sun​ is​​ Stephanie Meyer’s newest addition to her #1 bestselling Twilight Saga. This novel retells ​Twilight ​from Edward’s perspective, providing a better explanation for Edward’s actions in ​Twilight and the following book, ​New Moon​. Edward’s character grew a lot throughout this novel as his thoughts provided explanation for his stalker-like actions and proved him to be flawed. ​Midnight Sun​ ​satisfies everything I wanted from Edward’s perspective, and while Midnight Sun​ ​and ​Twilight ​have been criticized for Edward and Bella’s seemingly instant romance, this new novel adds

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Hot Dog Girl

5
Rated by Julia B.
Nov 3, 2020

I actually picked the book because of the cover. I really liked the colors of the cover and I liked that there were drawings of the main characters. The cover reflects the contents since it showed the main characters and Magic Castle Playland. The most compelling aspect of the book was just trying to keep up with Lou. She’s a mess. I was really frustrated with Lou’s scheming and total disregard for other peoples’ feelings at the beginning of the book. I finished this book in a day and was not expecting that I’d like it as much as I did.

Cover of The Cafe By the Sea: shows scene of outdoor cafe seating in European village

The Café By the Sea

By Jenny Colgan
4
Rated by Emily D.
Oct 13, 2020

London based paralegal, Flora, has desperately pined over her American boss for years. He doesn’t know she exists. Flora has all but resigned herself to unrequited love, until one day he calls her into his office. But the love affair of her dreams doesn’t start there, instead she is sent on assignment to the island of her origins, Mure. The Scottish island is not somewhere she planned on returning, but maybe she’ll get a love affair after all.  

Continue Flora’s story along with her brothers and friends in Colgan’s sequel: The Endless Beach. The story just gets sweeter in this follow-up to 

Oct 5, 2020

Rebel​ is the fourth science fiction novel in Marie Lu's Legend series. It takes place a decade after ​Champion​ and illustrates Daniel and Eden Wings’ new lives in the supposed-utopia of Antarctica. Daniel learns to navigate his relationship with his now-grown brother as Eden tries to escape from his older brother's shadow. The two brothers must take on the notorious criminal Dominic Hann while challenging their government's beliefs and facing their pasts. In my opinion, this book was okay, but it wasn't up to my expectations. I liked Eden's prominence and his newly-found character depth, but

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

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frankly in Love

4
Rated by Julia B.
Jul 24, 2020

Frank Li lives with his Korean-immigrant parents in California, growing up with American culture and feeling like his parents don't understand. As he starts to fall for Brit Means, a white girl his parents would never approve of him dating, Frank pretends to date Joy Song, a family friend who is in the same situation. But everything Frank knows about his life is much more complicated than it seems, especially high school dating. 

I think the most compelling aspect of the book is that it's not just filled with love and romance, but navigating that romance for the first time. In most novels

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

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

The Gravity of Us

5
Rated by Julia B.
Feb 4, 2020

If you like romance, space, and getting back at greedy T.V. companies while saving NASA- this story is for you. The protagonist is witty, sarcastic, and likable, the side characters complex, and the plot is compelling. What more could you want? Stamper creates a story that revolves around very human experiences: the compulsion to fix what you love (even if it’s not your job), the rush of young love, sticking up for yourself and others in the face of opposition, and a love of space travel. Hard to imagine a better book.

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

Freddy is a young teen who is struggling with her friends, her job, and most importantly her relationship. The book makes you feel a connection with these characters very quickly so from the start you’re rooting for your favorite character. I was not disappointed by anything. The art was outstanding and the story was impeccable. I was extremely satisfied by the ending. Hard to imagine a better book.

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

Jul 24, 2019

I think that the cover is beautiful. I like that the illustrations of the plants and things in the background give the cover the feel of the ocean since the book is called Last True Poets of the Sea. The most compelling aspect of this book was that the main character was hunting for a lost shipwreck that one of her ancestors survived. I thought that the plot of the story was really interesting. The only thing I was disappointed with in this book is that it seemed to take a while to get the story going, the beginning was a little slow. Nothing really happened during the first half but the

The Beholder by Anna Bright

The Beholder

4
Rated by Julia B.
Jul 24, 2019

This book details a young girl's journey that every teenager goes on at some point- one of family responsibilities and new friends and loves, all mixed with self discovery and coming out of a childhood persona. Bright writes in a way that completely encapsulates the reader in her world, leaving them surprised and disappointed when it comes to an end. I liked this cover because the imagery of the carved and gilded ship is indicative of the adventure Selah goes on, and the somewhat tarnished appearance shows that her world isn't perfect, and being royalty doesn't mean everything is easy. The

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 Plus Tristan by Shannon Dunlap

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 by Laura Silverman

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 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw

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 by Jason Gurley

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 by Rachael Lippincott

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